Margin for People…
Heidi and I were taking a walk yesterday and up ahead of us was a guy with his little, little dog. The dog came prancing up to me and—very unlike me—I bent down and began petting the little bugger. As I did, Heidi asked if they had just moved into the house knowing that it had been on the market. He said that he and his wife just moved in June from Florida. The conversation began…
We asked what he thought about Florida.
We asked if he grew up here…he didn’t.
We asked whether he knew that years earlier the yard of his house was filled with goats, he did.
We asked if they had any children, they didn’t.
We asked what he did and what caused him to move to Lowell.
We asked if he liked it here.
And on and on it went. Our walk was interrupted, but our appointment was right on schedule. Our plan ground to a halt, God’s purpose kicked into gear. It was beautiful.
As we were talking, his dog was running down the trail out of his sight, so he had to go get him/her/it. That formed a natural break in the conversation and we shook hands, found out his name was Mike, and said our goodbyes. We told him that we lived about a mile away on Fero Ave. and that we were glad to have his family as our neighbors.
“Welcome to Lowell” I said as we parted ways.
“Thanks man, and if you need any friends come on over sometime.”
When he said that I thought to myself, “All it took was about 5 minutes of connection and a relationship was formed.” I think we might try and take them a dessert or something this week and meet his wife.
It’s kinda sad that much of my life has been so busy that I’ve walked by countless hundreds of those encounters trying to avoid interruption. Either I’m just not in the mood or I’m not sure if it will be received well or nervous of the can of drama I might crack open. It takes about 3 seconds to talk myself out of stopping, saying hi, and starting a conversation. But that is where life is found and the adventure begins. It’s what Jesus did day in and out and it’s what he’s invited us into doing if we claim to be his followers. There is no way to be like Jesus without intentionally meeting people and having meaningful conversations with them. And I know that it can be scary, but believe me when I say that you were meant to live on the edge of human encounters, giving and getting life from those ordained interactions.
I’ve been praying for Mike today that wherever he’s at in his life that God will meet him there and cause he and his wife to feel at home in our community, and maybe, just maybe use us to be the agents to help that happen.