"If you had gone by our house last Saturday you would have seen people playing dominoes and talking in the driveway and heard kids playing kickball and volleyball in the backyard. It might have looked like a pretty fun time! Well, it was, thankfully, but it was also much more than that. Something happens when people come together and start getting to know each other, something bigger than anyone can quite put their finger on. It's that feeling you get when you're surrounded by people you love and all of a sudden the beauty of it hits you. It's warmth, it's love, it's fellowship, and it's also exactly what the world need right now. The more I learn about all kinds of social ills, the more I am convinced that many of them could be significantly ameliorated if we all took the time to get to know each other. Imagine a world where nobody falls through the cracks because everybody is known: nobody ends up on the streets, no child drops out of school, no elderly person is left lonely or abandoned, no single mother has to raise her children on her own, and no one misses out on the joys of friendship. To know, to care, to love, and to be known, to be cared for, and to be loved. This is true community. So while it might have just looked like a bunch of people having a good time on a Saturday afternoon, it was also a neighborhood coming together and taking that first step toward building community. Beautiful."
So, is it worth the risk to reach out to another, to get to know someone who might be different, to risk involvement?
I pulled this from my daughter Janelle's monthly newsletter on her year-long internship in an inner city neighborhood of Houston. I think she has found her answer to the question... YES! And, she closes the newsletter with...
"In the meantime: There will never be a moment when absolutely everything is perfect, and most things will take quite awhile to be anything good. So, in the meantime, I'd like to keep being grateful and trying to love the people around me. It may just be that the "meantime" is really all that matters and all we have."
(Check out http://www.missionyear.org/)