About a month ago, I posted in Soulscaping about how re-sodding my lawn became a parable for my inner spiritual life. In order to restore health to my lawn, it needed to be stripped bare in preparation for new growth. But because the grass was not delivered on time, I was left with a yard of dirt.
As an update (because I know everyone is waiting for news about my lawn!), the sod was not delivered for about three weeks. And even when it was delivered and installed, the company shorted us about a hundred square feet of sod. A week later, more sod was delivered and in order to save some money, my wife and I decided to just lay the additional sod ourselves. So the weekend was spent digging up weeds, prepping the ground, and laying new sod.
But again, this is not about my lawn.
A funny thing happened as we spent the day out in our front yard, covered with dirt: we had a lot of conversations with our neighbors. From the just-curious to the just-out-walking-the-dog, the day was filled with getting to know some neighbors a little better and meeting others for the first time. As tired as I was at the end of the day, it was great to escape the anonymity of the house and engage in meaningful conversation with others in the neighborhood.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine a couple weeks back. Instead of driving past our neighbors to attend another church event, what if we considered it part of our spiritual calling to engage those around us? What if the meaningful activity was to take place in my front yard? I experienced a bit of that very thing a couple weeks ago while sodding my lawn.
There are times when we can be be more open to serving God on distant shores than making the short journey next door or down the street. And sometimes we overlook the obvious answer to the question, “And who is my neighbor?”