When I first moved onto N. Luzerne, I immediately began to meet my neighbors, I wanted them to know I was no joke, I am here to live life with them, to bear burdens, open my home to them, love them and help them understand the meaning of Christ’s love in tangible ways. I wanted them to know that I wasn’t here to change their community or save their worlds, I was here to help them change their community and worlds, I am here to love their kids, introduce them to Jesus and help disciple and mentor them into world changers and Jesus seekers! I never once thought well what can my neighbors do for me and I will shamefully admit that there have been times when I’ve thought that there were no lessons for me to learn from them, there was nothing they could do for me or teach me, I’m just as human as the next person. However last week God taught me so much through my neighbors, I wanted to tweet about it 1000 times last week, but putting something like this into 140 characters or less is challenging! I feel like He reinforced these lessons through a guest speaker at Captivate Church a few Sundays ago, named Matt Wilmington. Matt reinforced the role of the Good Samaritan, and that it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of money to be a Good Samaritan there are extremely tangible ways we can be Good Samaritans.
A few weeks ago I had an unexpected health issue come up, one that sent me into “hiding” I literally woke up daily, went to my doctors office, came home and went back to bed, I didn’t go outside, I didn’t play with the kids, in fact at Kids club I sat in the back of the church miserable that I couldn’t do anything because I will admit I am stubborn and wanted to be there! Honestly it was one of the most miserable weeks of my life, if you know me, rest does NOT come easy for me, I can’t stand not being able to do things, anything! About half way into my week of hiding, I heard a knock at my door, and as I made my way to the door grumbling inside, because I had told the kids 1000 times I’m sick and they can’t come over to play right now, when I got to the door it was one of my neighbors, she asked is she could come in, I let her in and she sat with me in my prayer room, she had a little bowl in her hand and I’ll admit I was curious. As she sat down she begin to question where I had been, let me know she missed my beautiful smiling face driving by her house, or sitting outside with the kids, or coming and going, and she proceeded to tell me she was worried about me and had asked the kids if I was okay. When the kids told her that I was sick, she immediately thought she needed to do something for me. My beautiful neighbor who literally has nothing I’ve been to her home she lives with no furniture, and lives on an extremely strict budget, sets a small bowl on the table and tells me she made me some soup, with tears in her eyes she says to me, I wish I could have made you a big pot of soup Ms. Colleen, but this is all I could afford.
What this neighbor doesn’t realize is that little bowl of soup meant more to me than anything in the world, in that moment, I know what her life is like, I know what burdens she’s bearing right now, I’ve prayed with her and for her. This is not where it stopped, the first day I was in bed not feeling well, it snowed and iced here, I looked out my bedroom window and my neighbors more than one of them were clearing off my car, shoveling my steps, and icing my sidewalks, later when I thanked them they told me aww Ms. Coco it’s the least we could do for you, and when I offered to purchase them some more deicing salt, they wouldn’t take it, they told me they wished they could do more for me and this was their way to doing something to show me appreciation, you guys this didn’t stop for an entire week, later that weekend a neighbor came over and moved my car for me so I didn’t have to go outside, another neighbor brought me a little basket full of feel-better things, she also told me she wished she could do more, but again, she has NO IDEA what that little gesture meant to me.
I’ve wrestled with writing this blog because honestly I don’t want to offend anyone, when I say this, but these people who essentially have nothing who were almost ashamed they couldn’t do more for me, don’t realize just how much they actually did for me. I have lots of people who do lots of things for me, and I’ve learned not to take them for granted, and I am extremely blessed when it comes to the people in my life, my neighbors have become such huge blessings to me, one of my most favorite things is when I hear, “Ms. Colleen, how you be today, baby,” or “Ms. Colleen I am so glad you’re here…” Living within the community that I serve in has been a dream of mine for quite sometime, and as it became a reality last summer, I honestly didn’t realize how much my life would be changed, and how much I would learn from my new friends and neighbors. I am excited and constantly praying for ways that I can learn from my neighbors, and I thank God daily for opportunities for growth like this one.