Episode 3.2–On Being Neighborly

Porch life in Gifford Park

“How’s it going?” Norah says as someone walks by our house.  They slow up and turn to wave and smile.

A moment later Brennen, in his high pitched toddler voice, says, “How’s going?!”

We’re loving the fact that our kids are learning the art of hospitality, mission and simply being friendly in our neighborhood.  So many people walk past our house everyday on their way to work, or the bus stop, or a restaurant, or the grocery story, or a the liquor store/gas station, or the bar, or the park.  Many of these folks we’ve identified as our near neighbors and see them often.  We’re learning their names and a little bit about them.

And our kids are right beside us.

In some ways, they make our job easier.  People tend to let their guard down around kids.  In other ways, they make our job more difficult.  Things aren’t always the “safest” in the inner city.  It’s not always easy to sit with someone for several hours getting to know them or praying with them when you have two little kids demanding attention.  In still other ways, they make us better at our job.  We pray harder knowing they’re right beside us.  We’re challenged to pray with more faith knowing they are watching to see what God is going to do.  We find we invite them into our prayer more too.

We’ve been here just a few months, but we’re happy to say that our kids have helped us to meet all of our immediate neighbors and then some.

Our first attempt at a neighborhood barbecue didn’t work out so well, so we know we still have a ways to go before our neighbors are ready to be more than neighbors.  But we’re sure that those days are just a few more, “How’s it going” from Norah and “How’s going” from Brennen, away.