A Windstorm, a Hatchet, and a Neighbor

Wednesday is for Prayer

A forty-page paper for a doctoral class is due at the end of the week and I am only 20 pages in. I’m rushed but I want to make time for neighbors, even if it is brief. I come home and as I pull into the driveway, I notice that my neighbor, Steve with the non-English speaking (Polish?) wife, is out chopping up a tree in the hot sun with a small and apparently dull hatchet. He’s a big guy and this sun is going to take its toll on him. I have a better tool for the job in my garage.

The tree came down two days ago in a fierce windstorm that has taken its toll on some of the older growth of the canopy of trees in the neighborhood. It only takes a moment to retrieve the tool, walk over to Steve, help him for a minute or two, leave him the tool and tell him, “just put it in front of the garage when you are finished.” But in the two minutes I learn that he has just come off of vacation and returns to work tomorrow and a relational bond is strengthened and moves toward the gospel clarity. 

Steve knows who I am. He knows what I do. He knows I want to talk to him about Jesus again and today, that is enough. Tomorrow, some day soon, Steve will be in the backyard at my house around the grill and beer in hand, and we will move the conversation further. Maybe, Steve will become a part of Communitas. Pray for him. Pray for me. Pray for the neighborhood. and Pray for your own opportunities in your neighborhood.

Update: Got the chance to interact with Steve again today (7/13/11). Found out his wife’s name, Lima, and where she is from, Lithuania, and much more in another less than five minute interaction on my way to a mentor appointment with a young church planter. Made an invitation to BBQ at my house at the end of the month. He is looking forward to it. So am I. Keep praying.

3 thoughts on “A Windstorm, a Hatchet, and a Neighbor

  1. That Satan would be prevented from blinding them to the truth
    “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
    For God to draw them to Himself
    “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him . . . ” (John 6:44).
    That they would confess Christ as Lord
    “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9,10).

    Marty , just some scriptures that come to mind for a lost soul.


  2. Great example of having opportunities out of the normal events of neighborhood life! A close friend once called this, “the supernatural naturalness of lifestyle evangelism.”

    Made me think of his statement when I read your article. Too many times I have run past the opportunities before me to look for one in an unnatural or contrived setting. Thanks for sharing…


  3. Jim, who responded above to this post, has since died and gone to meet Jesus. It is a great comfort to know that this once homeless man, who lived here with our family on three different occasions is now with Jesus. He lived a hard life. He proved in his 42 years, “that the way of the wicked comes to ruin.” One friend translates this verse, “the way of the wicked is hard.”

    Jim knew that the hard way. He battled alcohol all his adult life but in the three months before he died, there was new evidence of his embrace of gospel truth and hope. For all the Jim’s out there who still need to hear the gospel call, let’s be bold to speak to them, for their joy and the delight of our God.


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