This Sunday,as I sat in the back of my tiny church with the rest of the small choir, struggling to keep two sleepy red heads from fighting, I strained to hear the sermon, as it was one which I thought could use a little repetition. Our current ‘supply priest’ has a real knack for sermons. He started out quoting one of my favorite childhood shows, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and went on to discuss the state of neighbors and neighborliness. The sermon touched a lot of us, who realize that so much has changed (although much more has stayed the same). People in these suburban mazes don’t know many of their neighbors who live right next door, and forget sometimes that even those you don’t know are neighbors. It’s nice to get a reminder once in a while that people really haven’t forgotten, they just need a nudge.
There was the time that one of my daughters (I forget which now) was crying over a lost helium balloon from Friendly’s on her birthday. I remember commiserating with her and trying to entice my other daughter to share her balloon (it didn’t work),when a young man, probably still a teen, ran into the restaurant and came out with a new balloon for my daughter. That always will stick in my heart. Then just this past week, my oldest decided to bake some sweets and some pasta for an elderly friend of ours who doesn’t get around very well.
This morning I got a text message from out township police department sharing that there had been two burglaries in the area. A few months ago there had been a prowler who was never caught. And that’s just in our very small and safe area. It makes one wonder how many people have forgotten to be neighbors even in a small town. That is, until we see these small acts of kindness. They may seem small but are not small to the recipient. So take an extra 5 minutes and stop by the lemonade stand that those two noisy 8-year-olds put up and buy some super sweet lemonade, or give your grandparents a call. It’s a small price but the reward to both parties is extensive.
As my dear friend said this Sunday morning, make it a beautiful day in the neighborhood.