Some of you may know that Josiah and I recently purchased a farm, and will most likely be moving before summer. This is an interesting time to be reading a book about neighbors, but I did just finish The Art of Neighboring: Building Relationships Right Outside Your Door by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon (it was on my book list for 2014).
Perhaps the thing I found the most refreshing was their focus on motives. Christians can sometimes start connecting with people with a sort of hidden motive of “converting” their new friends. Pathak & Runyon have this to say: “In short, you need not make your neighbors your ‘pet project’; make them your friends. You simply need to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, and body, and love your neighbor as yourself.. . . The goal is to faithfully tell your story, God’s story. Then listen to their story and ask God to lead you” (p. 116). The pressure is off – for you and your neighbors.
I’m looking forward to getting to know my new neighbors. It’ll be a little different. . . more farmers and less families. I’m thankful for how David often breaks the ice and helps my introverted self initiate conversations. :)