Relationships are important to me. I like people. One of my favorite pastimes is to gather with friends over coffee and conversation, and somewhere along the way (knowing Jesus is a welcome guest in our midst) to wind up in prayer and praise.
As a child I often weaseled my way into my mom's coffee clutch. Women around a table sharing coffee and a pastry and warm conversation was a norm at our house, and sometimes in the evening the men joined in as well. Many summer nights in South Florida were spent with dinner around the pool and dessert and conversation late into the night.
Neighbors...we knew our neighbors. Our neighbors were our friends...and in a way, family, as we lived far from any of our blood relatives.
As an adult, it's been important to me to know our neighbors by name. We've been fairly successful. It's taken great effort though. Our neighbors are for the majority open and caring, friendly and agreeable. Many of our neighbors are retired, which is a wonderful comfort; not much goes on in our neighborhood without notice!
In the last couple of years, I've been excited to welcome some younger families; young marrieds, some with young children and some new babies too! A breath of fresh air this younger generation.
My husband and I, well, we are comfortably right here in the middle. We strive to be mindful of our elders ~ checking on those we haven't seen out and about lately. And we hope to be helpful (maybe even mentors of sorts) to the youngers.
Relationship is so very important to me. How will I ever have opportunity to share the LOVE of JESUS if I don't know a name, say hello on a regular basis and offer care as circumstances arise. I love to be the giver...the helper.
But oh the lesson I learned this week!
I suddenly became ill at work. Once I arrived home, I went directly to bed. My husband was out of town. Though hours of sleep were my friend, I awoke intermittently in a fever fog, achy all over. Around 4 in the afternoon, I had an awareness...a moment of clarity...my pups, they were in their crate and I needed to get them out. They needed to go outside. Help...I needed help...I was too weak.
Even the idea of typing out a text was exhausting, but I managed an SOS text to a couple of neighbors. Before I knew it two neighbor girls arrived and took the pups out for a nice walk and brought them back. I was so grateful for the help. The pups and I went to bed and I slept for more hours.
Fortunately, I thought to myself, I knew my neighbors by name. I had phone numbers. And we have relationship. The people living around me are not just neighbors; they are friends.
The word was out. I was sick and might need some help. Friends offered soup. My parents would come and bring me medicine or take care of the pups. Prayers were spoken on my behalf. Some sweet neighbor came by and put our trash dumpster and recycle bin away. Co-workers. as well, called to check on me. My husband came home early from his business trip.
It is a great blessing to know....and to be known. A great blessing to love and give...and to be loved and to receive! With a thankful heart for relationships...and restored health...
Blessings of GREAT JOY on your amazing adventure journey with Jesus!