We live in a unique place. When God brought us to our home almost 5 years ago we had no idea what He had in store for us. Fast forward to today and we find ourselves surrounded with not just neighbors…but friends. In this close-knit little rural subdivision over 30 children under the age of 10 can be found…and there are more on the way! We always joke that there’s something in the water since only 6 weeks after moving in we found out God was sending us a little housewarming present…Maxwell. There were 5 of us all expecting and due with-in 6 weeks of each other the summer of 2007. The reality is that when you look around…God’s fingerprints are everywhere and His blessings overflow along these streets.
Today some dear friends and neighbors are moving away. God’s hand was certainly at work and while I know this is the plan He has for them my heart is still aching to see them go. Every member of our family will be missing a friend and to look and see their house empty won’t be easy. It’s inevitable that I wonder…why do they have to go? If I were to choose who should stay and who should do…that wouldn’t by my choice. But God has a reason far beyond my comprehension.
A few months ago when the news of their moving on came to light my dear friend sent me a message. She told me that we would be greatly missed and she knew that I was a Christian when she met me even though we didn’t share our faith with one another right away. She said that Jesus is alive and vibrant in my life. It took my breath away. It was so humbling but honestly the best compliment I’ve ever received. Because really…that’s the whole point! Jesus should be evident…in fact…others should only see Jesus…not me! Loving my neighbors as myself in obedience shows His love…not mine.
Now I’ll be honest…loving this friend and her family didn’t feel at all like obedience. It was natural and something I wanted to do. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that way for all of our neighbors. Do you find there are some you have to force yourself to love sometimes? Even if the old saying is true and one bad apple spoils the whole bunch…God commands us to love them all the same…as we love ourselves. Not the do unto others addage…it goes far above and beyond that. My friend’s words to me were a challenge that today…as I sadly watch them leave…I revisit.
I am so thankful to God for bringing us to a rare place like this. I know it is where we are supposed to be. If I say I love God and I don’t love all of my neighbors…that’s a problem. A big one! I find it interesting that when I obey the greatest commandments…I receive the highest compliment which really has very little…if anything…to do with me. My prayer is that I will love all of my neighbors so they will see Jesus…and they won’t see me.