We introduced this series last time that we are calling “Hidden Gems.” After almost 5 years and 250 posts, we have detected several that had a distinct influence on people but maybe didn’t get the attention or circulation warranted. So we are sharing those on occasion over the next few months.
This one had a profound impact on more than a few people. It struck a chord with its simplicity but also its underlying powerful example of an effort to reach your neighbors over the long haul. It’s from Al Tricarico, Associate General Secretary of Home Missions. This was from right after the pandemic started. But take note of how this example is an expression of a prior commitment to their neighborhood. While we are no longer in a similar moment, think about how you could model this–even if just with a couple of homes.
The present crisis provides unique opportunities to touch people in our neighborhoods—in a “distancing” kind of way. For the last few years, my wife, Laurie, and I have focused on eighteen homes that are nearest to us and sought to reach out to them. Mainly we have invited them to a home group we host, particularly when we share meals. Last week we sent them the following note:
These are difficult and uncertain times. Concerns about the COVID-19 virus are growing and seem to be developing by the minute. Laurie and I want you to know that we are praying for you and would be happy to serve you in other ways as well. Let us know if you need help, or if you would like to talk. This may not be a time for personal contact, but please feel free to call us. We trust that God will help us all in our time of need. Psalm 46
Let’s do what we can to stay connected and help each other at this time and beyond.
Your friends at the “corner.”
Al and Laurie Tricarico
We received three responses including a request to pray over the phone. Not much immediate fruit I suppose, but we hope that our friends felt encouraged and will remember that we care about them.
We’re no longer in that situation, but could you adapt this approach to normal life? Would a simple neighborly contact work during a holiday season or some other time of the year? Would it work for regular life during hard financial times for some or just recognizing that life is hard and there are difficult times when neighbors may just need a neighbor/friend who cares and listens?