Commuter community

commuter communityEvery morning on my way to work (when I am actually on time) I pass the same people. There are five or six that I now recognise and one who, without fail, I will pass Monday to Friday.

If at work, I talk continually about asking ‘How is my neighbour?’ then should I not be extending this question beyond my direct neighbours, the community I live in and those that I meet with and support?

I see this woman everyday, I have seen her cry and just walked by. Without fail as I approach she looks away, I have not even managed to get a smile yet. So this morning as I walked towards her I decided today was the day, I got nervous, started to sweat and sought courage. As she passed me by, head down, I looked at her directly and said ‘Morning’ in the most cheerful voice I could muster, which happens to be pretty cheerful.

She looked exceptionally startled and, half smiling responded with ‘hello!’. I am fairly sure, from the expression on her face, there was a conviction rising in her that this woman she passed daily wearing a giant purple bobble hat was in fact insane. However, I walked away satisfied that she is unlikely to pass me head down again and that in time I might be able to ask her name and build from there. It is a start if nothing else.

How is it normal that we walk past people and never interact? We love to be acknowledged, to have our existence known, and yet so often we fail to do so for those around us.  This kind of thing does not come naturally to me. I do not like to impose and force myself onto others, and I hate to be rejected. However, I am looking forward to developing some commuter community, to leaving no area of my life untouched by relationship and to finding how I can better serve my community by knowing those I claim I want to serve.

This was my challenge for this morning, you might already be very good at doing it. Perhaps there is another area in which you ignore opportunities to develop relationships, and ask ‘how is my neighbour?’ My challenge to you is to take that step and to love your neighbour as yourself.

We aim to make communities livable again, as it says in Isaiah 58:12 in the Message version

‘You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.’

About Livability Community Engagement

Part of Livability, a national Christian disability and community engagement charity. We are an enabling network, tackling barriers in society to make community livable.
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