Friendship

For a Reason

You’re here in this generation for a reason. Ask God to show you that reason, and to fill your life with his purposes. Ask him to lead you to strong, healthy, life-transforming community. And when you find it, you’ll find you have reason to live.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Nature, Seeds, Plant, Autumn, Faded – Free Image on …

Bearing One Another’s Burdens

Community is not just being under one roof at the same time. It’s sharing in one another’s joys and sufferings. It’s bearing one another’s burdens.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Luggage, Packed, Travel, Trip – Free Image on Pixabay …

Created for Community

We were created for community. And we’ll be lost until we find it.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Fireworks, People, Crowd, July 4Th – Free Image on …

Your Legacy

beyond_yourlegacy

To choose love over hatred requires change. It means letting go of our hurt and fear in favor of the higher calling. Generations to come will reap the harvest of our choices, for good or for evil. Hate breeds hate; love breeds love. Love, though met with hatred, will ultimately prevail. What will your legacy be?

Source: Two Fires

The Beggar

Blog_Beggarat first glance he’s just a beggar…

a blur in the background
of my immutable schedule

an unwelcome disruption
to my carefully laid plans

his greedy hands reaching out
for my hard-earned wealth

unworthy
of my well-deserved luxuries

unequal to the value
of my precious time

but when i take a closer look,
i see a mirror reflection

helpless eyes that could be mine
if hope had escaped my grasp

desperate hands that would reach out
if opportunity had eluded me

hardships i would bear
if fate had dealt me another hand

he is no beggar
he is a reminder of what can be lost

he is a messenger
of what has been forgotten

he is a friend
inviting me to find my humanity

 

Source: More than a Neighbor

Photo Credit:BEGGAR  | Street Photography © 2014 www.r… | | by richardovertoom

How Would I Know?

Blog_TrampledRose

how would i know
what you were thinking
if i never stopped to ask?

how would I know
that you were hoping
today would be your last?

how would i have seen
the darkness in your life
if i didn’t try to look
more deeply in your eyes?

and how would i have heard
the cry behind your smile
if i didn’t choose to wait
and listen for awhile?

yet now i feel your pain
and now i share your tears
i hold the heavy weight
of the burden that you bear

i’ve tasted of your sorrows
i’ve walked inside your shoes
i’ve finally had a glimpse
of what it’s like to be you

all you needed was some comfort–
to know you’re not alone
if i never stopped to listen
how would i have known?

Source: More than a Neighbor

Photo Credit: Rejected Rose | by Kurayba Rejected Rose | by Kurayba

More than a Neighbor

Blog_BackyardFenceQueue the game show music. You have ten seconds to name as many of your neighbors as you can. Ready, set…go!

How many names did you come up with? And how well do you know the people behind those names? I’ll have to admit, I didn’t do too well beyond my immediate neighbors. Sadly, in our quiet and transient neighborhood, we don’t see each other much beyond the parking lot. It was a surprisingly pleasant gift when our neighbors got locked out of their apartment and had to camp out in our living room for a couple hours.

What’s got me thinking about this? Last year as I was cleaning out my parents’ garage after their recent move their neighbor came by. He asked about my mom and dad, genuinely concerned about their well being and wondering if he could help in any way.

“You see,” he said, “your parents were more than neighbors to us. They always went out of their way for everyone in the neighborhood. They took the time to get to know us. They even helped us when we needed it—doing things like shoveling our walks. This place won’t be the same without them. And we want to help them like they helped us.”

What powerful words. My parents have always demonstrated the art of being a neighbor—my dad, the friendly, humble servant and my mom the gentle, nurturing caregiver. When I was little, they knew everyone within a few block radius, and even welcomed strangers into our home on a regular basis—from a lonely old man named Augie, to an autistic boy named Danny, to foreign exchange students from all over the world—one of whom said of my dad: “If everyone in the world were like him, there would be no war.”

How appropriate my dad’s nickname is Jasper—a precious stone known for representing sacrifice and royalty. It is listed as the first foundation stone in the walls of heaven. How fitting that my mom’s name means “grace.” She’s one of the most gracious people I know.

As I think about all I’m grateful for, one of the biggest things is that I have parents who are an example of what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself.” They’ve shown me what the Christian life should be: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And they’ve emulated the words I saw each day on our kitchen wall as I grew up, “Love is the little things you do.”

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)