“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” - Jesus
Yesterday I was spending some time in my neighborhood trying to connect with a couple of people who have expressed interest in Bible studies. I thought this was a brilliant plan because by Philly standards it has been a very tough winter and we had just been dumped on the night before. Thus, I knew people would be home. And they were! But neither of them were available because they were “in bed,” at 3:30 in the afternoon!
I’m so glad I went out though because I met Neil along the way. Neil was taking a moment on his stoop after work to watch the happenings of the neighborhood. I got his attention and we had a little conversation. He asked if I lived in the neighborhood and I told him I was right around the corner where my home is marked with a sign reading, “Ministry House.” He said, “Oh, you’ve got the garden in your yard.” He knew us by our garden. Interesting.
People know us by what we do. Sure having a vegetable garden in the front of a row house is unique, but it helps me realize that everyone is “known” for something. Probably the most unique and striking thing about them. It may not be the true you they see but people will “know” you by what they see. And when you are hoping to minister to anyone that matters.
It’s cool that we are known by our garden, I hope it will make people want to get to know us more. Ultimately I want everyone within five blocks of us to know us as the people who love their neighbors well. They might not say that outright, but that’s what I hope they will think. I hope they will see Jesus with new eyes as they are reintroduced to Him through His real, tangible love in us. What is the most noticeable characteristic of your life?