How beautiful to have a National Good Neighbor Day (September 28)! There are many quotes about good neighbors, from “Good fences make good neighbors,” to “A good neighbor is a welcome blessing,” and “We become good neighbors when we are willing to cross the road for one another,” (Henri Nouwen).
What does good neighbor mean to you? I think, (perhaps others do as well) it is easier to think about what it is for someone else to be a good neighbor to me. Because, of course, it’s all about me, right? I can sure get that way sometimes! But I think on National Good Neighbor Day it may be more about what I can be doing. Like doing something unexpected to show my appreciation for my neighbors or maybe even crossing the street to get to know my neighbor better.
How about the classic “Love my neighbor as myself.” Jesus was certainly wise, if sometimes inconvenient. That does require work on my part. I can probably figure out what I would want from my neighbor – how I might like to be treated, and then just pluck up my courage to turn around and do that for my neighbor. I think I’ll give that a try, intentionally, and see what kind of reaction that might bring from in my neighbor, who is not expecting this from me. Could be fun!
Recently I was able to appreciate the value of good neighbors, when we purchased a lake property and found the best part about it, as amazing as the place is, was our neighbors who were so welcoming and warm and looked out for us and our property. It just makes me want to truly be there for them, as they seem to be for us. I can see how cultivating the art of being a good neighbor, could truly make life richer.
Loving God, help me to intentionally reach out to my neighbor
to support, help, even just to get to know them.
Send your Holy Spirit to guide and inspire me
on ways to constantly be a good neighbor,
loving my neighbor, as you teach us to do.
Thank you for blessing my life with so many good neighbors,
from whom I can learn also to be a good neighbor.