Tuesday, November 16, 2004

People need.....

Sometimes when the kids wave to the neighbors, you can just tell that these people wave back with a wee bit of discomfot.. Believe it or not, some won't even look up to wave back at all. You'd think our friendly gesture of waving is on par with Mormons coming to the door. "Quick, the Engle children are outside. Look down, avoid eye contact! They're going to wave at us as we walk to our car." One of the neighbors is a sourpuss. Personally, I don't think she is someone people would call attractive, but I believe that is largely due to the scowl imprinted upon her face. This may sound cruel, and perhaps it is, but I make it a point to wave at this woman every time she drives past my yard. I figure she is starting to get irritated by it, but I just cannot bring myself to quit. My oldest has wised up to what I am doing and has joined me my sick little game. So, almost every day, Joshua and I wear our biggest smiles as Donna drives by with her sourpuss face, we wave as though we're waving to a long-lost friend, and place bets on whether or not this is the day she will smile or wave back.

I don't know Donna's story. But I know we have neighbors who've gone through so much hurt. The eldest son of the neighbors who live directly across the street murdered a young woman (who happened to be my age and was expecting her first child) and dumped her body like trash. These neighbors are lovely, friendly people-the only neighbors who ever bother to say "Hi!" effortlessly. They're heart-broken; their lives have been shattered. Across the street to the side of us is the kids' school nurse. A few years ago, her husband committed suicide. She keeps to herself and I truly never see her little girl play outside. Not one time in the year I've lived in this house have I seen that little girl ride a bike, play in her yard, or anything. Next door to the school nurse is a lovely church-going middle aged woman with a gorgeous teenage girl. Her husband left her for a co-worker after many years of marriage. Three houses down from this woman is Donna. Two houses down from the school nurse in the opposite direction is a lesbian couple who argue quite a bit in their front yard in the morning hours. I'll give them this much, they're friendly to the other neighbors. Once, one of the women took great joy in sharing with me how to keep my petunias alive (and no I don't think she was hitting on me). Behind me is a quiet policeman who seems to enjoy greeting Joshua (it's hard to not be lured by Josh's charm. He's friendly and never hesitates to introduce himself when encountering new people). At the same time, this man gets a bit irritated over the smallest things. Once he was complaining that pinecones from one of our trees was falling into his yard..... Oh goodness, I'll just leave that one alone. Anyway, I've got a lot of quiet, unfriendly or otherwise unhappy neighbors.

My heart aches for these people. I know the joy that God gives in spite of my circumstances. I know the comfort of a sovereign, faithful Lord during times of intense heartache. I've got joy in the depths of my heart. I experience the blessing of forgiveness when I completely blow it in life, which is so much more often that I'd ever care to admit. Each day I can sing a new song to my God, my provider.

I know these people don't know me for the most part, nor do they care to. But I long for them to know God's salvation. I long for them to experience his grace and peace. I long for them to have abundant life. So, now what?

What does little old me do about it?


Blogger irRational said...

Sounds like you have a very real mission field there. :) I do the same thing with waving or smiling at people, especially if they are a "challenge". I'm not sure if this is evil or not LOL! I've come to realize I have a huge missionfield with my unsaved friends and acquaintances too. :)

1:29 AM, November 18, 2004  

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