So most of you are probably asking, who is Mrs. Beigel? A little background to our situation.
My wife, our three kids, two dogs, and bunny currently live with my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and brother-in-law as we sold our house and are working on finding a new place. Oh and we can’t forget the 18 or more chickens and frogs that Eli and Nate chase and catch. While catching frogs is one of the boys favorite activities, it might be topped by helping their mom and grandpa, who they call buh buh, at the Clinton Farmer’s Market selling produce and squeezing lemonade. They are learning how to help customers, count money (well Eli) and eat fresh produce. We’ve caught Nate eating a whole carton of beans under the table while we help customers.
While they have a great time at the market, one of the best experiences is once they get home. Once they get home from the farmer’s market they gather up a basket of vegetables and take it over to our neighbor Mrs. Beigel. Eli and Nate love spending time with Mrs. Beigel and she loves having them come over. The boys even named a little play character they have after her. When they are playing with their toys we will hear them say they are taking Mrs. Beigel on adventures and letting her drive the their tractor or fire engine. They even invited Mrs. Beigel over to their birthday party and were super excited to see her come.
The above relationship has been nurtured and encouraged by my father-in-law who helps the boys gather the produce and takes the boys over. While it is something fun to do, my father-in-law is intentionally doing it to teach the boys to be good neighbors. While this might seem simple, in our overly connected, but ironically disconnected society we may know people in other states better than our neighbors next door. While I’m not against knowing people in other states, there is an aspect of community that can only come from loving those around us. It is also a great way to live out Jesus call to be missional share the love of God to those around us. While many people might think it’s crazy that we are all living together, I’m thankful to have my father-in-law teaching the boys to be missional through loving their neighbor and pray that this carries beyond this relationship to other relationships that they encounter as they grow older. So what is one thing you can do this week to love your neighbor, to encourage someone who lives nearby? It doesn’t have to be some big elaborate thing, maybe it’s just leaving a card at the door, or baking some cookies, or inviting them over for dinner. Let’s step out and love those God has placed in our path each and everyday.
For more details on how to teach kids (and adults) to live missionally, check out the below article from The Verge Network