The Neighbors

A husband and wife realized they did not know their neighbors like they should. They determined to make the effort to meet 001them and agreed to start by welcoming new people to the neighborhood. Later that week they saw a moving truck across the road. The wife baked a cake, put together a welcome basket and they walked over to greet their new neighbors. After awkward introductions, the neighbors replied, “Thank you for the welcome gifts, but we have lived here for four years, we both took jobs down state, and we are moving out!”

I have great concern that there are modern conveniences that are keeping us from knowing our neighbors.  We have air-conditioned homes with attached garages. We walk in comfort to our air-conditioned car and drive away with our windows up. We sit inside our homes watching television and rarely see our neighbors.  Some of us even hire others to keep our lawns mowed, flower beds landscaped, and we have a clean-up shop detail our cars. Our yards, front porches, and back porches go unused until we take a family picture. Add to that more modern technology and we isolate even more. We have access to so-called social media and use it to communicate with people all over the world, most of whom we already “know” in some way. We stay connected online, but not in person. How many of us mostly talk to our neighbors through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.?”

I am even part of a couple of online groups that are community yard sales. You list what you have for sale on these groups and people will offer to buy it – or not.

I thought about this Saturday when we had a yard sale.  Many of you know that we have our house listed with a realtor. (You can see the listing HERE, be sure to share that with anyone looking for a house in the Jasper, Alabama area.) With the house listed we decided to clean out a bit so we had a yard sale. This sale offered us a few benefits:

  1. I have most of the garage back!
  2. We sent a lot of good clothing, patio furniture, toys, yard tools, and household items to good homes.
  3. We donated most of the items we did not sell to a local charity store.
  4. Did I mention I have most of the garage back?!?
  5. We talked to neighbors and people just passing through.

Number five is our favorite part of a yard sale. One neighbor bought my tiller. It needs some work, so he got a good deal.  I tried to give it to him. This neighbor also wanted me to sell him one of my guitars – no deal – it is going with me. But we had a good visit. One repeat customer bought a load of Christmas decorations, including three trees, that she will use to help decorate the nursing home where she works. A local preacher from a different group talked to me a bout preaching and a stack of outlines that a friend of mine gave him. He planned on studying them and using them as he preached. A man who was in town working on family property noticed some of my books, video tapes, and DVD’s and asked if we were members of the churches of Christ. He said he was a member as well. W had a good talk about the Church and the influence we should have on the world today. A grandmother was tearing up as she talked with Amy about the struggles her grandchild is going through. She asked us to remember her family in prayer.  A couple about our age stopped by as they traveled to Tuscaloosa to visit their son who is a student at the University of Alabama. They purchased a couple of Bama souvenir tea glasses and some other odds and ends. Their son travels home on the weekends and goes to church with them, but they were concerned that he was not active with a church group in Tuscaloosa. I talked with them about Tide 4 Christ and  Central Church of Christ and gave them a business card telling them their son is more than welcome to participate with our Campus Ministry.

I suppose I could have listed everything we had to sell on Facebook or a community yard sale site, but I would not have had all these great conversations, nor would I have been able to possibly influence someone in a positive way.

When the house sells we are planning to have a Moving Sale. Stop by. I will have coffee ready. There may be something you need that I have for sale. But we will have time to just talk. Come to think of it, why wait. Bring your guitar, fiddle, mandolin, or banjo; my front porch needs using.

– Scott

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