I hope it goes both ways when I call Joe my friend. He is one of the residents in the apartments where Kay and I deliver meals on Wednesday.
I don’t know much of Joe’s back story. Maybe one day we’ll talk it out.
But I do know that Joe cares about his neighbors.
And in the past two weeks, neighbors on both sides of him have died: Walter (you met him here; he taught me so much) and Amy.
Both Walter and Amy were precious to me, too. Walter loved singing about God more than anyone I knew (hear him here, 30 seconds). And Amy is one of the residents who would ask how she could be praying for me. I can’t imagine not seeing either of them here again.
We often think we don’t have time to know our neighbors. Jeff and I rarely see ours. We think our lives are too scattered, too busy, too full as it is.
But Joe knew his neighbors.
Joe tells us each week if someone in the hospital. He often has an extra dog he’s keeping while another neighbor is in rehab. He keeps his hands and heart open for those around him.
Joe is living out a purpose.
And that purpose is loving people.
When we forget that life is all about people instead of projects, when we see others as distractions to our calling instead of the calling itself, when we think we lack the time or resources or confidence to touch others, we’re robbing both ourselves and others.
God plants a piece of himself in each person. When we see other people, we’re seeing another side of Christ.
- People are what brings us joy.
- People got us here.
- And people will always be with us until we’re gone.
When we honor the piece of God in others, we are honoring the God of all of us.
I don’t know who the people are in your season and circle of life right now. But I know they are there for a reason. Just like the people in my life are.
We each are strategically and uniquely placed where we are and with the people we need to be with for a God-reason.
May we each reach deeper into our circles this week. Listen to each closer. Linger with each longer.
- If we hear a need we can fill, let’s fill it.
- If we see a heart we can touch, let’s touch it.
- If we meet a friend to pray with, let’s pray with them.
I thank God that Walter and Amy had Joe in their lives while they were here.
And I thank God that I have Joe in my life right now.
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Do you know your neighbors? Is there a Joe in your life? Please share in the comments.
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