I attended a great Bible Study this morning, with a simple, yet profound, message: Love Thy Neighbor.
We started going through and really hashing out what "loving" means. You know, "love is patient, love is kind..". What does that really mean in our every day life.
One of the things that really stuck out to me was this concept: See what NEED your neighbor has and then FILL IT! It's an action, btw. But not just any ol' action, not just whatever YOU happen to be good at (baking bread, child care, lawn work, encouraging letter, etc.) but what they really NEED!! If I give all my neighbors homemade bread, yet what they really need is a listening ear, I haven't really loved them at all.
Anyways, this is kinda foreign to me. I'm not all that good at loving my neighbors (yes, I know, a PW should really be better at this sort of thing). It makes me nervous. It makes me DOUBLY nervous now that I have impressionable children to protect and care for. I worry about what they are exposed to, WHO they are exposed to.
Yet right now, my eldest son is playing upstairs with our new neighbor's little boy (5yo). His mom and friend are on their porch, I can literally *hear* the boys running around upstairs ~ Isaac checking out his new friends trucks and toys. Yes, I worry about a toy that perhaps we don't approve of or wouldn't allow Isaac to own - but hey, that could even happen with family. My daughter is playing with the next door neighbor's little girl (4yo). Of course, I did make them play in OUR driveway!
I'm also baking up some pumpkin bread for our family and for the upstairs neighbors. No, I'm not sure yet if this is what she actually NEEDS - but it does give me one more opportunity to connect with her, to talk to her, to perhaps get a glimpse of what her needs actually are.
I pray I will allow the Lord to stretch me and guide me through this process. I know He wants to ~ but I also know I haven't been very stretchable in this area before. So here goes nothin'.....
Learning to Love~