to tell me that our neighbor, and co-worker of his committed suicide.
When I opened our living room shades,
I saw the police cars and the man's family members.
I stepped outside, crossed the street, and hugged the man's dad.
It's hard to find words that capture that type of sadness.
The man moved into our neighborhood shortly before winter arrived,
and so, we didn't get to know him quite as much as we would have liked.
The cold of winter tends to keep people inside.
We had recently made plans to cook out with him
when the warmth of spring returned.
It hurts our hearts to know he was struggling so much.
It hurts our hearts to know he was so hopeless.
A short while after this happened,
Bryce came home with a prayer chain he made at church.
One of his chains read,
"Dad's work friend."
Of course, I knew immediately what those 3 little words meant.
Three little words that held so much loss.
Yet, at the moment, I also felt an overwhelming sense of love.
You see, we pray for our neighbors regularly.
Because our neighborhood changes so often,
we pray for the people who will one day become our neighbors-
we tell God we trust His purpose in bringing them here.
We also pray for opportunities to share His good news with them,
and that we would be an extension of His love toward them.
The little prayer chain showed me that Bryce's love for others
isn't confined to the walls of our house.
He has a care and love for others that reaches out our front door.
I'm writing this post to encourage you to have that type of love-
a type of love that reaches out your front door.
I'm writing this post to encourage you to love your neighbor,
and I encourage your definition of "neighbor" to be broad in definition:
your co-workers, your family members,
the people who live near you,
your mailman, librarian, your fellow church members...
And love them well.
What does this type of love look like?
I'd start by saying this type of love is born out of kindness and selflessness.
It's a simple hello.
It's a smile.
It's an invitation to dinner.
It's sharing a hot dog or brat when you cook out.
Sharing an ice cream cone when you eat ice cream.
Baking cookies for a new neighbor.
Leaving pumpkins or flowers on an elderly neighbors porch.
Waving when you drive by.
Stopping to say hello.
Sharing cards at holidays.
"How are you?" with a heart that truly cares.
It's asking someone if they need prayer,
and committing to pray for them.
What do you say, friend?
Can you commit to loving your neighbors?
Can you reach out to them in love?
I know that you can.
Let today be the day you set the distractions of life to the side,
as you find a way to share sweet kindness with a neighbor.