That’s what I’m calling it.
There is so much snow it feels like the end of the world is coming.
No matter how many times I beg, it.won’t.stop.snowing.
All this snow brings snow days, event cancellations, and my personal favorite: snow removal.
Oh sweet Jesus, the snow removal.
This winter, my fam is taking responsibility for three driveways on our street. Three.
It takes several hours every time it snows for us to complete this task, but it’s my fault so I can’t complain.
I prayed for it.
I also volunteered us for it.
Not for the accumulating snow, but for opportunities to love our neighbors. Last fall, I read Matthew 22:37-39 which says, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
It struck me that if Jesus said loving your neighbor was ranked right up there with loving God, I needed to be more intentional with my actions. I realized that if I passed away, most of my neighbors wouldn’t even know my name. They also wouldn’t know or have experienced my love for God or for them.
We live on a quiet street lined with small, old homes. Our house is the only one that has kids running around in the yard. A few of our neighbors are single, a few are married, a couple are widowed, and almost all of them are getting along in years. We wave politely to each other, but that is as far it goes; community is not a word that would be used to describe us.
Loving our neighbors was definitely not happening.
So I prayed for God to send opportunities for us to love them.
And in response, he sent an abundance of snow.
The snowiest February that ever was.
Snow so that we could offer to help the elderly woman three houses down, who was recently widowed, with shoveling and so much more.
Snow so that we could shovel out the single guy across the street who almost never leaves his house.
Snow so that we could dig out several other neighbors in sub-zero temps who got stuck in the mess the plow left at the bottom of the driveway.
Snow so that we could have endless opportunities to love our neighbors.
Because it’s one thing to shovel out your neighbor one time, but it speaks of a different kind of love when you shovel them out 15 times, without fail, for free. And that’s the kind of love we want to demonstrate: a love unlike anything else they encounter in the world. A love that makes them wonder why we do it. A love that makes them ask why we care. A love that speaks of God’s love for them.
This week, one neighbor asked me if we were crazy (yes!) and I said the first thing that popped into my mind: “we just love being neighbors, that’s all.”
I smiled super big when I said it and she probably thought I was weird, but that’s ok.
I was loving my neighbor and letting her know it.
Snow kidding, we have talked to our neighbors more in the last couple months than we have in the entire six years I have lived on this street. I plan to keep the momentum going when the snow is gone by delivering homemade cookies and helping with yard work. I have decided serving my neighbors is a great place to start loving them.
A friend of mine shared with me that she invited her neighbors to church last week and it led to an awesome and really vulnerable conversation about some tough issues. What an inspiration that friend is to me! I want to build a foundation with my neighbors that enables those kind of conversations to happen.
So…bring on the snow, I’m ready to shovel some love!
Friends, how well do you know your neighbors? What are a few things you can do in the next month to demonstrate God’s love to them? It doesn’t have to be shoveling! I encourage you to write a few ideas down and ask God to give you opportunities to put them into action.
As always, I love hearing from you! Email me or comment on the blog and I will get on my knees for you. Let’s do this faith journey together.
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I LOVE that you are doing this, and I just laughed about how God has such an awesome sense of humor in how He answered your prayer with removing snow as the beginning point of you demonstrating practical love to your neighbors! I loved your wording “Snow…so that.” LOL! You are all SUPERSTARS for Jesus and your neighbors are absolutely blessed by your LOVE! I can’t wait to hear more stories of how God is using your family to draw them closer to Himself!