Building Community

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The other day I stumbled across this article. It wasn’t the title that caught my eye, but it was NPR’s Facebook caption which read as follows:

Turns out, it might be better to schedule a neighborhood potluck than worrying about your lights.

As James and I dream of a home in a neighborhood, we are quick to think of our neighbors. We desire to seek intentional relationships and return to a place where we’re more likely to “poke” our neighbors’ doorbells than their Facebook profiles. As a result, it’s statements like the above that catch my eye.

We need more potlucks and less technology.

How many alarm systems will be installed and motion-detecting lights triggered before we walk across the street to say hi to our neighbor? It seems as though we are willing to develop technology before we are willing to develop relationships.

Now, if your only motivation for getting to know your neighbors is for security reasons, it won’t last. If you desire to spend time with your neighbors and initiate group activities, people will grow to know you, your habits, and when something looks out of the norm.

It needs to start with a heart for the people, not a desire to protect your property. 

My fear is that our definition of home has become limited to the walls we confine ourselves to. I’m guilty of it! I find myself safely sitting at my computer now, typing this dialogue rather than meeting the people next door. Home has become an image of seclusion.

How could we redefine home in an era of personal gain? What if we sought for our neighbors what we seek for ourselves? What if we viewed home as the comfort of a neighborhood where kids can run safely and you know all of your neighbors have your back? What if it was a place where you could indeed visit next door for a cup of sugar? What if it was a feeling of freedom in knowing that comfort is seen in the unconditional invitation into each other’s homes?

Let us not limit the heart of the home. Let us not close ourselves off out of fear. Let us not dwell behind our phones and forget the people we could interact with each day.

Let us not forget about community.

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We are Haley and James Earley, a family of two established on October 11, 2014 in our hometown of Rochester, MN and now living in St. Paul, MN. We are dog-lovers, coffee addicts, tree-huggers, balance-seekers, community-livers, and new foster parents. We live in a house of three adults, three dogs, and our sweet foster kiddos. We desire to slow down in this fast-paced world in order to pursue intentional community as we seek after the heart of God. We're just one couple trying to figure out this whole living life thing.

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