Tuesday, June 5, 2012

She Taught Me How to Love My Neighbor

When I moved to this town and showed up to retrieve my oldest daughter from kindergarten, a woman came to find me. She introduced herself, welcomed me to the neighborhood, provided her phone number, and immediately invited me over to her home for an after school snack to meet her children.

I went.  I had nowhere else to go and nobody else to talk to. 

She connected me to all of her friends, cooked for me, offered to watch my children, and essentially did whatever I needed to help me transition to this new community.

Know this: She's a working single mother with three children, a busy schedule, and needs of her own.

And yet.

And yet she loved her neighbor.  She took the time for me!  

I think about this dear woman, Kristen Caswell, whenever a new family moves into the neighborhood.  I find myself running to find the new families, providing a note card with my phone number, and offering to do what I do best: walk children to school and cook Italian meals.

My kitchen right now has all the ingredients for Chicken Parmigiana.  I'll deliver a meal to a new family and ask, like Kristen did for me, "How can I help you?  What do you need?"

She taught me all the simple ways to love a new neighbor. Since the Lord is teaching me to love in ways that are uniquely me, I'm going to love my new neighbor with loads of mozzarelle (I already discovered they love Italian cooking).  And remember, the only reason I can do this is because the Italian Mama was a good neighbor to me last year when she taught me how to cook out of the goodness of her great Italian Mama heart.

I'm learning what it looks likes to help and to love.  I'm going to love my neighbor, and I'm so excited.  

What else does a neighbor need?


Patricia W Hunter said...

Love, love, love your flair, Heather. Can I move into your neighborhood? Sounds like you are surrounded by some of the best mentors/teachers. What a great friend you are.

Elaine said...

I agree with Patricia, I want to move into your neighborhood!
I love this post, it's just what I need to think about. We are expecting new neighbors by the end of the month. It has been years since anyone new has moved close.  I'm thinking  muffins or cobbler, the blueberries should be ready.