Out for a stroll
Did you know, walking your dog is one of the best ways to get to know your neighbors?
I was walking our two labra doodles one evening and was delighted to get to connect with quite a few of my neighbors. Our dogs are such happy, goofy, furry friends that they attract all sorts of attention – which gives me the chance to meet all sorts of people.
By the end of the walk I found myself sitting on the sidewalk surrounded by my two dogs and two huge beautiful Newfoundland dogs, both licking my face complete with a long dripping drool stream.
When Jesus told us to love our neighbors, I think he meant our “actual neighbors” who live nearby. So if we are going to do what Jesus said to do - it has to start by meeting these strangers, block parties don’t just pop up out of nowhere.
In our neighborhood we enjoy an annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt and at Halloween we serve soup to hungry parents out and about.
Since our lives seem so full, we must take advantage of every opportunity to meet and get to know our neighbors. Tonight was another chance for me to chat and get to know names.
Our neighborhood has quite a few front porches with chairs where people sit. Time in the front yard vs. the backyard also means connecting with others walking their dogs.
I don’t know if you want to go get a dog so that you can make more friends on your block, but I know that if you spend more time in your front yard on a cool evening you’re bound to meet others. Relationships have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is your front yard.
So, I encourage you to get out front, pull the weeds, turn the sprinklers on while you sit in the cascading water in your lawn chair. Consider loaning the neighbors your hedge trimmers, starting a neighborhood watch group or neighborhood Facebook page and make sure you buy lemonade at every sidewalk stand that pops up around you.
And hey, if you have a cute dog – walk them more often.
-Andrew Burchett, Lead Pastor