of cookies. I rang the bell and I stood there.
Waiting for someone to open the door. Waiting for someone to open the door and let me say, “Hi! My name is Mary. I live across the street. Welcome to the neighborhood.”
My old neighbor had told me that the new owner was a single mom with two little boys. I had moved to the neighborhood 3 years earlier; I didn’t find the area overly friendly.
I didn’t find the area friendly.
Being raised in the South and living for 30 years in the Midwest…I KNEW how to welcome someone to the neighborhood and it wasn’t by ignoring the new neighbor! No sir-ree!
You did it with a cake or cookies.
You did it with a smile, a wave and a conversation. It always worked before. I was sure it would work this time.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, the door cracked.
There she stood.
My new neighbor. The mother of two cute little boys. The widow of a policeman.
I told her my name. She didn’t tell me hers.
I offered the cookies. She accepted.
The words gushed out of my mouth. She hardly said a word.
You can say it was because I didn’t give her a chance *smile* but it was more than that. Much more. MUCH more.
I was open. She was guarded.
She finally told me her name. She said thank you and sent me on my way.
As the weeks went on, I would see my neighbor, her sister and her boys going in and out of the house. The boys, now 3 and 4, are every bit as outgoing as their mother is reserved and quiet. If I walk to my mailbox and they are outside, they yell things like, “I’m fine! Thank you. How are you?”
They invite me to come and check out their new swing set. Unfortunately, the day they extended the invitation I was running late for an appointment.
What circumstances made this woman so quiet? What happened to make her not want to talk? What? Happened?
These days the words have been absent. These days my heart seems broken. My mind just WILL. NOT. FUNCTION. for blogging. What happened?
I realize that part of the problem is that I am guarded. I am only cracking the door, not throwing it wide open and welcoming whatever is going to come my way.
No, I am keeping my fists clenched. My eyes closed. And walls erected around my heart….much like my neighbor when she first moved across the street.
I am trying to open my hands.
I am trying to throw open the door and welcome what He is sending.
After all, how much can one receive with clenched fists and closed doors? I am trying to be open to receiving…receiving ALL He has to offer.