I spent last Saturday with my girls. The resident chef was out of town for the day. My youngest called it a Mommy Daughter Daughter date. We got pedicures, went to the library, hid some painted rocks and played at the local park.
While the girls scampered about I watched a group of men setting up an impressive BBQ by the public covered area. The guys had hauled in four different grills, a mountain of meat and two full picnic tables of food. They were also sporting soccer balls, accents and their conversation frequently fell into several languages other than English. Ahhhh. Friends from Africa! And then the grill fired up and the park transformed.
A couple of women stopped to chat and asked the guys what was happening. I listened in. Apparently a competing soccer team was driving down for a game at six that evening and so the host team was getting dinner ready. They clearly expected a crew. The men offered the bystanders a sample of the BBQ. The ladies declined and walked on. My mouth watered.
Yup. I totally scammed a piece of the chicken on our way out of the park. The guys insisted we take three. And a bottle of water. My eldest was horrified I had weaseled my way into someone else’s BBQ. My youngest said it was the best chicken she’d ever had. It was tasty. The soccer team seemed happy to share.
On the way home though it seems like my eldest was right. I shouldn't just take and glory in what the newcomers to the local park were bringing. So we went home and baked an apple crisp and hauled it back to the park in time for the big soccer match. We didn't stay. But our new friends sure grinned. Its fun to make new friends.
My whole point in the story is that in order to love you neighbor you have to first notice you have a neighbor. You have to be willing to meet the neighbor. Talk to the newcomer. Smile. Eat chicken. Bake apple crisp.
After we got home I watched the new documentary about Mr. Rogers. I bawled my head off. You should watch it. Mr. Rogers knew how to love people better than anyone. I want to be like him when I grow up. Hope my kids do too.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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