who is my neighbor?

I’m pretty big on hospitality. I love welcoming in the outsider, sharing the table, opening our home, and making sure people in general feel loved, valued, and wanted. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at this, but this trip has got me thinking, particularly about how I show hospitality those those I live in close proximity with- my neighbors. 

I’ve been learning a lot about what it means to be a neighbor from the people here. Being the outsider and the newcomer to the community, I have been astonished by the number of people who have showed up at our door, stopped cars mid-street to say hello and introduce themselves, invited us places (to meals, to their homes, to church, to their own restaurants), shared their stories (and asked us ours), helped us get settled (running errands, figuring out currency, carting us around the city), and who have just expressed a genuine gladness for our presence. 

I’m thinking about how, though I do those things in certain arenas of life and with certain groups of people, I do not tend to offer that kind of hospitality and warmth to the people who are my neighbors (meaning the actual folks who live on our block or our alley, not the general, all-inclusive “neighbor.” That one is easier for me). I’d like to change that. 

So far on my list of changes y’all can hold me accountable to: not being so entitled with our water and power supply at home (and here), walking more frequently as a discipline of slowing down and being more present, and now, showing hospitality to my neighbors.  Hopefully someone is writing these down, ha! 

Simply put, we might have come here to adopt, but it feels like we ourselves are being adopted. And this adoption feels more like an invitation- one that should be extended to others, so that they too can feel taken care of, known, and full of the hope that comes from having people with you on the journey. #joinme #everythingsgoingtobealright