I’ll confess that my tombstone will not read that I was a man of prayer. It’s not because I don’t pray, but–well, that’s just not what I do most of the time. I would like to pray more often and with more intensity, though, because I am convinced that’s what God wants with me.
In any case, a while back, I remember blogging here about longing for a real Christian community–in a time and place where we’re all commuters, to be a band of Jesus-followers who live in a neighborhood together, gather regularly as a spiritual family, and be a blessing to the community. That post actually generated quite a bit of interest (read: eProps). But that was a long time ago, and I haven’t really been praying about it on a regular basis.
Recently, though, God’s placed it on my heart to just get involved in my neighborhood–that is, to just be a neighbor to my physical neighbors. I’ve been trying to think of ways of pulling my current Christian brothers and sisters into my neighborhood, but that hasn’t really be successful–at all. On July 4th, I organized a block party (with tons of help from my friends…thanks guys) and surprisingly, it was a huge hit. I’ve been putting together an e-mail list for the neighborhood. And I’m currently involved with some other neighborhood-issues. Now, when I drive home, go to the park down the street, or just walk around, I feel like I’m walking around a big front yard. I’m getting to know people’s names, their children’s names, and even some of their pets’ names. I understand this isn’t really a big deal for most of you out there, but for me, growing up in a family that just drove into its garage and hid inside the house, this is a very new thing to me.
So just today, one of my Christian neighbors–who totally tripped when he found out I was a pastor–approached me and wanted to see if we could start getting together to worship and study and to do stuff in the community. Alright, so I’ll admit that I’ve recently started praying a little more about what God might have for me in this area–so sue me. But this really came as a surprise to me. I’m not really sure to make of it, but I’m excited.
I also asked a newlywed couple a month ago to consider living with us in our house as an experiment in Christian community–and as a way of making it easier for us to be hospitable to others. They were somewhat interested, but they ended up declining. But recently, some things have changed and there’s a possibility that they might reconsider. Is this another “God-thing” as some people say? (No pressure, you two, if you’re reading this.)
I sort of feeling like I’m living in Bible times, when Israel was in the middle of all that God-action; it’s strange to be in the middle of God answering a prayer. I’m not really sure how it’s gonna pan out. Maybe it’ll take more years before I can make out what God is orchestrating. But strange how a prayer that started years ago is now showing some signs of hope.
I guess that means I should keep praying…