Let me begin with a little story.... once upon a time, not to long ago, a boy and a girl were taking out the trash. In their eagerness, they forgot that the doors in their apartment lock automatically. Soon they found themselves trapped outside in the dark with nothing- no shoes, coat, phone, keys, money, etc. For several hours they waited, hoping that someone from their complex would come along to let them back in. After over 3 hours, they decided that they should break into their own place via the window AC unit the poor boy spent hours installing that day. Prior to the break-in, the couple got to know their quirky old neighbor named Ron. Ron is the eyes and ears of the block. For hours, he will keep sit in a chair on the stoop in front of his apartment and watch the world go by. He has done it for years. Well, in typical gossip style, he had to share the story of "the silly kids who had to break into their own place" with anyone willing to listen the following day. The person he shared it with happened to go to the church the couple had visited and wanted to meet them anyway.... the rest.... is divine history
Daniel and I have prayed that God would provide us with community and divine appointments here in NY. What he has dropped in our laps is beyond what we imagined! We knew from the get-go that our apartment was meant for hosting. It's much bigger than most (in the city) and has a layout conducive for guests. The problem? Neither of us are naturals in hospitality nor do we have the natural gift of striking up random convos with strangers. God figured he would help us out through our neighbors. All we had to do is open our doors and God has brought in people.... I have never seen the Acts church style community played out so beautifully before. 'Family dinners' are becoming a nearly weekly occurrence now :) It's a place for young and old, seeker, cynic and saved to gather and do life. awesome! Since then i've worked on reaching out more (we can't just mooch off our friends in terms of inviting people) and have had some super discussions with neighbors -- God is moving big time!
In this season, God has been working out a lot in my heart concerning community and the lost. Reaching out can be scary. Meeting neighbors and putting yourself out there takes effort. It's what we are called to do though. We are called to love our neighbor and make disciples. We can't use personality or fear as an excuse. Be available. I dare you. Live open and let God do his thing. Let's be the church!!