The people around us are alive but have yet to take in the first breath of Life-Giving Spirit that will transform them and sustain them throughout the remainder of their lives on earth.
Too often, our diagnosis of our neighbors and the neighborhoods in which they live is “there is no life here—just go home because there is nothing you can do.”
What do you we see when we look over the fence at the neighbors next door? Or when we look across the street to the house that was way-too-loud for way-too-long the previous night? What do we see when we watch the teenagers meander through the neighborhood? Do you see life and potential…or do you just find yourself mumbling under your breath, “What’s the point? There is nothing that I can do…and they wouldn’t listen to me anyway.”
I was challenged this last weekend at a small church in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. The pastor of a small, struggling church was sharing with me about a day not too long ago when a troubled teen had been at the church working on a project of some kind. I don’t remember the details, but what caught my attention was when this pastor told me that a 75 year old widower also came to the church to help on this project and showed some attention to this teen boy, showing his some of the woodworking skills he had picked up over the years. The teen was captivated by the old mans skills and, more importantly, soaked in all of the attention that was being given to him.
There is life in our neighborhoods and in the homes of the people who live around us. So many are simply in need of some attention, whether they will admit as much or not. So many are simply in need of someone to listen, to hear, to understand. Let’s not get in such a hurry to talk and do and accomplish that we forget to listen and sit and be present.
Originally posted 2016-10-11 19:21:05.