Our garage sale last Thursday and Friday was a success. Not moneywise. We won’t be heading off to Tahiti from the proceeds. I did get rid of a few things that have been cluttering up our house. Two old couches? Gone (sold one and gave the other one away to a good home). Two sets of box springs and mattresses? Gone. (not sold, gobbled up by the sanitation workers’ truck). Bongos? Gone. A walker that my mother-in-law no longer needs (given away to a husband for his needy wife). A few other things. Gone. It makes me want to sing this little ditty to the tune by Helen Griggs:
Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone,
Yes, my junk is gone.
Now my clutter is set free
And in my heart’s a song
Buried in somebodies’ home,
Not in my basement all alone.
I shall live with less to own.
My junk is G-O-N-E gone!
My junk being gone, gone, gone is not the best news from the garage sale. I got to talk to my neighbors. A lot of them. I asked one lady if we planned a “cul-de-sac barbeque” this summer, would she and her husband come? She said, “Sure, we’d love it!”
I got to talk to the guy at the end of the cul-de-sac. Our next-door neighbor’s daughter bought one of the couches. I learned that a lady from Central church has children and grandchildren on the next street over.
“Do they go to church?”
“Have you invited them to Central church?”
“Well, tell them their pastor is on the next street over.”
Now, Karla and I have somebody else to pray for as we go on our nightly walks. I hope they are outside soon so I can say “Hi,” and invite them to a BBQ too. There are a few others in our neighborhood that attend Central church. Some regularly. Some not so much. But now I know folks a little bit better. I know how to pray a little bit more. Karla and I will need to plan a “Central Church in neighborhood cookout” too. A “cul-de-sac cook out” and a “Central-in-my-neighborhood” cookout? Why not. I like Koegels’ hot dogs on the grill.
We don’t need to go to Africa, Panama or across the world. I’ve got a mission field across the street. You do too. What are you doing to reach your neighbors for Jesus? Jesus said, “Love your neighbor.” What if we took those words literally and started to be pro-active in loving our neighbors? Don’t talk religion if you plan a party. Don’t talk politics either. Just make it fun. Get to know your neighbors. As the Lord (not you) opens the doors, you might have a chance to talk about faith. It might not happen during the first or second event. But keep being kind. Keep loving. Keep showing the grace and truth of Jesus. It takes time.
But It’s worth it! Wouldn’t it be great if that once cranky neighbor, finds Jesus, does a 180 and becomes so loving and kind that you ask St. Peter (or whoever handles the housing accommodations in the sweet-by-and-by) if you could be neighbors in your heavenly mansions too?