|Our new garage door...sans garbage can|
Not one person in our neighborhood (or even in our cove) has greeted us on their own initiative. But, we've received a non-compliance notice from the homeowner's association. (We had our tiny trash can in front of our garage. Horrors!)
I wrote a post last month about the joys of living in the suburbs. I stand by most of what I said then, but I'm reminded again that critics of suburbia have valid points.
A pastor and friend here in our new town summed up the culture well when he said "People wave and smile at you from the driveway, but when that garage door goes down there is some serious pain and suffering happening."
We live in an affluent county. Movie stars and musicians have homes around the corner. Everything is shiny, the yards are well-tended, and children play in the streets. Teenagers have to be warned not to text and drive as they cruise around with their friends. From the outside, it's Americana at its finest.
But here, like everywhere else, there is brokenness.
Maybe there's not a homeless enclave, but there are families with too little food, struggling to pay the mortgage on a house they could afford before they lost their jobs.
In our cove, the neighbors on our right have never officially met the neighbors on our left, though they've both been here for years.
Churches are tucked into every strip mall and meet in every school. There are literally 5 or 6 churches on every corner, in a town of only 30,000. We want to believe there's just that much worship, but we fear that really people can't get along.
There is truly brokenness and spiritual need everywhere: city, suburb, and farm. Our hearts long for home, so we often--consciously or not--set up our chosen location as THE best place. But it's not. No place is perfect, because nothing on this earth is perfect. Yet.
Wherever we find ourselves, by Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are to be the perfect-ers. It's Christ in us--His bride--that brings redemption...from the city to the farm.
I confess: I wanted to plop down into a sweet little community and be welcomed to the fold with little effort on my part. That is obviously not going to happen.
But, maybe we can be the family that introduces neighbors. Maybe we, with the power of Holy Spirit, we will be allowed to be a renewing agent in this particular piece of broken earth.