In my house our main living area is on the second floor. We have the best view of our entire block from east to west and north to south in a corner chair. I often sit in this chair and pray for each house that I can see. I wonder how to build the bonds of relationship with each of these people. Some of my neighbors I know better than others but for the most part everyone likes to keep to themselves.
I have been asking God to provide opportunities to reach my neighbors. For Christmas we bought summer sausages, put a bow on each one and went door-to-door offering that extra large stick of beef. Every neighbor that was home, received the gift and let us pray a prayer of blessing over them.
Just the other day, my backyard neighbor was chatting with me over our fence (these are often my favorite moments that don’t happen enough). She was asking me if I would be willing to gather cans for a friend that was unemployed. I instantly got excited because God had provided a way to reach my neighbors as well as someone else too!
Soda cans…Really, God?
Could reaching our neighbors be that simple? The answer is a loud, resounding, YES!
If we make ourselves available for simple yet divine moments and never let those times be wasted, relationships will soon be built. Jesus never wasted a moment. He was always quick to pray, teach, love, heal, and serve. He recognized the needs that people had and never looked past them. He was never too busy for others. He did take time to pray. He left the group to go spend time with His Father. When that time was complete for Him, He was ready and willing to be a servant to all people.
I have often wondered what things I have looked past when I was busy and focused on my list of items to complete. Did I miss opportunities like this small one of collecting soda cans for a neighbors friend? I am guilty of never once inviting neighbors over for a BBQ or for a cup of coffee in other places that I have lived. I was too “busy” to tell them how amazing Jesus is.
Oh, Lord forgive me!
“But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?” Romans 10:14 NLT
Do your neighbors know Jesus? Will you tell them about Jesus over a cup of coffee? The open doors to be able to share with them about the One who saves, begins with providing a cup of sugar or collecting cans for a neighbors friend. Other times it can be a hot cup of coffee, and summer sausages delivered to the door with an offering of prayer.
With the lost and dying all around us sometimes I have felt like I do not know where to begin. But I recognize that I have often overcomplicated things, thinking that things needed to be in perfect order before I could host or offer an invitation.
Living on mission can be simple. Jesus lived a simple life. He did not live distracted or concerned about what others may think of Him. He knew what was important.
I pray daily to live a simple life (sometimes this feels impossible). I have grieved my past apathy. I have grieved those God strategically placed in my life years prior that I ignored. So I pray and ask God to show me a better way for today. That better way today is through soda cans. He uses anything to help us find those that need Him.
It really is that simple.