Okay, so, just as we were about to doze off last night, a piercing alarm shattered the semi-quietness of our apartment building. I tried to remain calm but a bit panicky as I realized it was a fire alarm. Things became a bit chaotic as I dashed to get decent clothes on, round up the cat, and get my wheelchair-bound husband out to the balcony. Then I stuck my nose out in the hall to see what the rest of the neighbors were doing…only one was leaving the building from our section of the floor and the elevators were closed off. Fortunately, the alarm turned out to be a false alarm…though I wondered why no one checked on those who were wheelchair or otherwise unable to escape down the stairs?
With this thought, I was reminded of how little we know our neighbors, even after over three months in our building. Yeah, we say hi and talk to them in the hallways; however, we do not have a whole lot of communication with them. It took one neighbor coming over last week needing some salt and pepper before we found out that he similar taste of music as my husband, and he is a Christian. He was impressed that we let him keep the salt and pepper – something we do not use a lot –since he does not know too many people who are kind or enjoy blessing one another.
We have learned that we have an interesting collection of neighbors in our building that includes young families, single parents, disabled people, and even quite a few elderly people. For instance, there is the neighbor who is shorter than I am (I’m only 4’11”) and she is one of the kindest ladies I’ve ever met. Furthermore, there is the man who seems to know everything about the building since he has lived here for a long time. Then there is the neighbor above us – a single mom – who we complain about because her young son keeps us awake some nights. Though recently, I keep getting reminders from God that we need to pray for neighbors even if we are not happy with their behaviors.
As humans, we were meant to connect with each other and have fellowship with other people. Unfortunately, we are becoming a society that spends too much time with social media and not a whole lot of face-to-face contact with our neighbors. I’m just as guilty as anyone reading this blog or a stranger on the street.
That is why we want to start a community style coffee shop so people can re-learn to interact and fellowship with each other without pressure. Hopefully. We know – it will be a long shot since people attached to their personal electronic devices.
Therefore, in conclusion, Mr. Rogers does not live in my neighborhood; however, as commanded by Jesus, I will love my neighbors (even the noisy one) and find ways to connect with them. Even if it is just a simple hi with a smile and asking them how they are doing.
So, who are your neighbors? How do you think you can connect with other people in your neighborhood?