We have a calico group of friends and neighbors in this season. This week, those who have gathered around our “table” have included:
- a retired school teacher who will spend a month overseas in a cabin, fishing the days away in the river out back
- a group of high school boys set to graduate who have learned the benefits of hard work and helping a neighbor
- a former resident of the federal pen whom we are honored to consider our adopted son
- a waitress with an eyebrow piercing who loves every customer and treats us all as though we are her only table
- a mushroom hunter who likes to smoke and have a beer or three every day, and can fix or build just about anything and everything
- a young man from Mexico who sends part of his paycheck every month to his family back home
- a “retired” grandpa who has traveled the world, builds houses, and is very comfortable on a tractor
- a brilliant and stunning kitchen designer from Viet Nam who knows her stuff and doesn’t back down when her clients throw ridiculous ideas at her
- a beautiful young mom who struggled with addiction and loves to cook and is married to our “adopted” son
When I think about the colors of our world, in relationships, in personalities, in family members, in cultures and lifestyles, what a beautiful world it is. Everyone around our “table” brings life experience that we could only dream, and ours seems to pale in comparison to their adventures.
But we are not here to compare whose stories are better or more exciting. We have gathered this week to share, to serve, to bond just a little more, to learn from one another.
There is a new picture on our wall, kind of our motto in this season:
Love as a verb.
This is what our “table” of friends and neighbors has done for us. They are loving us, filling our lives full, showing us what servant friendship looks like. We are grateful and very, very blessed.
The most beautiful scenery in the world is when our friends come into view. – Bob Goff
Sam and I were talking this morning about neighbors and what that word should mean.
- A neighbor is someone who takes homemade cookies across the street to the new family who just moved in, and a neighbor is someone who returns the container with two pieces of fresh-baked pie and a thank you.
- A neighbor is someone who offers a helping hand when they see the man next door working hard, all by himself. And a neighbor is that man who invites the helping hand over to play cards the next evening.
- A neighbor is a family who offers rides to another family without transportation, and a neighbor is that family without wheels, sending a handwritten thank you with free babysitting for a night out for mom and dad.
- A neighbor is someone who drives five hours to help someone landscape their yard or finish their home addition or take a look at their design plans or unload landscaping blocks from the back of a trailer or fix lunch for them while they work or paint a laundry room or introduce the new people to everyone in the cafe or sit down in between waiting tables and share a story from where they grew up.
People loving other people by being kind and compassionate. People being neighborly. People using the word LOVE as a verb. People DOING love. People who refuse to live alone but choose to engage because that is what makes a calico colorful life.
I love this video that is full of a calico world. People are beautiful, even in the midst of turmoil and tension that surrounds us.
God has made such a colorful pattern in our friendships and our families, and because of Him and because of them, it is good to be alive today.