Do you know your neighbours?
When Mark and I were living on the Gold Coast, we lived next to this lovely older couple in Southport. George and Daffany. They were very elderly but in great shape. He was always up and about pottering in his shed or in his garden, mowing his lawn or even up on his roof. I couldn’t tell you what he was doing up there, but he got himself up there and seemed to be doing very important things. He would have been in his late 70s. Just so spritely and energetic. She was a cute but stern lady, not over friendly but her hair always perfectly coiled.
I don’t think they knew what to make of us in the beginning. A little brown girl, with a tall white husband with VERY long hair. As soon as we moved in I made them a cake, and Mark and I went over and met them. She was very reserved, almost unfriendly but it was more social awkwardness than anything. He was an absolute delight.
Every now and then we would pop over with a treat or leave them gifts at their door. She would answer the door, sometimes her entire head encased in curlers and was always a little grumpy but pleased at the same time. He would chat to us over the fence from time to time, and if we needed anything, he would jump to it like it was a fire and if he didn’t do something, everything we owned would go up in flames.
When we finally moved away a year later, we went to say goodbye to them. When we told George we were moving, I will never forget, he started to cry. Hugging us for some time, this sweet old man said he hated goodbyes and would miss us.
Mark and I were so impacted. We had no idea how much we had meant to him. Our small interactions, and little gestures, had meant more than we had ever known.
I think about what would have happened had we not gone out of our way to meet them. It is all too easy in the business of life, the awkwardness of the first meetings, and our individualistic Western society for us to pass one another by. Our neighbours especially.
I tell that story to exhort you all…..
Have you met your neighbours? Don’t delay. Go and meet them today. A little treat always breaks the ice.
Perhaps you already have. If so you could go even one step further. Buy them a bunch of flowers, just because. Or write them a card. Bake a cake.
Think of something that you can do, to bring them joy today.
Let us be people who go out of our way to connect with those around us beloved ones.
You never know the difference that you can make with the smallest of gestures in another’s hearts and lives.
I would love to hear the stories and comments of your neighbours! Comment below.
You are richly loved and deeply cherished.
Reigning in life