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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, July 2, 2010

Neighbouring

We have new neighbours. Well, actually we have a new family that has moved in next door to us. Whether or not they will truly be neighbours remains to be seen. It may be up to us to find out.

It was my grandmother who taught me to use neighbour as a verb. I remember her telling of moving to a different farm with my grandfather at some point in their working career. Speaking of the woman who lived on the farm next door, a mutual acquaintance warned, “She’ll never neighbour with you!” My grandmother was undaunted, and years later would tell this story and report that, “She was a great neighbour!” Knowing my grandmother, I am not surprised. She was one who truly agreed with William Butler Yeats that, There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met! She was, herself, a great neighbour.

Christians everywhere can tell you that the great commandment in the Bible calls us to love God and love our neighbour the same as we love ourselves. We all know it, and we all endorse it, at least in theory, but do we put it into practice? I confess I have a lot to learn about the business of neighbouring. Sometimes I wonder if I am too busy doing church work to ever really be a good neighbour. It is a sobering thought.

Neighbouring can be a big contributor to community. In fact, I am not sure we can actually have community without it. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that community will be richer if active neighbouring is a part of it. As I write these lines, I am remembering a scene from one of last year’s reunions. All the tents were lined up in neat rows, and many had lovely screened porches. Inside each porch was a family, perfectly isolated from those annoying bugs and mosquitoes that might be around. Curiously, despite being pitched close together, there really didn’t seem to be much interaction between the tents, and I wondered if the screens also isolated the families from their neighbours.

As the reunion season now gets into full swing, let’s try to do some “neighbouring” this year. After all, the person inside that screened in porch just might be a friend you haven’t yet met!

Posted by Carman

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