Last year about this time, I posted a commentary about Halloween. Take a moment to read it so what follows makes sense.
I stayed home on Halloween night last year, not only to give out candy but also to meet more of my neighbors. It was great seeing all the little ones’ costumes and chatting with their parents. When one little boy stopped by we started talking immediately as I leaned over to put the candy in his bag. In a pause, his mom said, “Is your name Kim?” I stood up to find one of the women who were baristas at my local Starbucks! We laughed at the fact that we both had lived there for years and only now knew we were neighbors. Suddenly, I knew not only my neighbor, but a woman who used to be a simply a nice barista was now a friend. I invited her to an event at church, we exchanged cards and cookies at Christmas and chatted about kids and school and work. We regularly saw each other around the neighborhood. I met her mom and dad and she met some of my kids. And, now that I live elsewhere, I miss seeing she and her son. And when I first went to the Starbucks that I now frequent, it was sad not to see her there. I still stop by to say, “Hi!” when I’m back in Valrico and we catch up on family and such.
All this from staying home to hand out candy, meet my neighbors and share a bit of hospitality with them. Jesus taught us a bit about hospitality. He welcomed us after all. And, in case you are wondering, I’ll be home this year, too. I still haven’t met all my neighbors and I can’t wait to open my door to strangers and when they leave close it behind them as newfound friends.