Pentecost Sunday morning found me sitting in the pew, meditating on Acts 2:1.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
I thought to myself, Gee, self, you should blog about that.
And then I remembered that I already had. Last year. So much for originality.
Pentecost Sunday afternoon found me wandering around my neighborhood with my friend and neighbor, Mrs. A, knocking on doors. It is not in my nature to knock on the doors of perfect strangers. But there I was. In that place. Trying to be community.
Let me flash back to nearly a year ago. We had moved into a house with an extra side yard, in the middle of a neighborhood. We took one look at that yard and said to each other, “Let’s host a neighborhood cook-out to meet the neighbors! Maybe for Labor Day!”
Labor Day came and went.
Then it was fall. Then it was winter. Then it was Spring. Then it was Memorial Day. It, too, zoomed right by.
But it was as Memorial Day was approaching that I started making the 30 x 30 list. I’d decisively written “host a neighborhood picnic” on the list. I knew I couldn’t organize one by Memorial Day–and, besides, we had already invited other friends over for the holiday–so I thought I’d put it off. For now. I had a whole year until I was thirty, after all. I would do it eventually.
The truth is, I didn’t really want to host the picnic.
I mean, I wanted to in theory. But I didn’t want to in practice. I didn’t want to knock on doors in the neighborhood. I didn’t want to organize people. I didn’t want to meet my neighbors and generate some community out of nothing.
That’s work. Ugh.
And I have so much else to do. My house. My yard work. My blog. My thesis. Double ugh.
About a week after I’d made my list and decided a neighborhood picnic was impractical at the moment, I found myself sitting in a coffee shop with Mrs. A.
Out of the blue, she said, “We should organize a neighborhood picnic.”
I’m sorry, what? Did she just say what I think she said?
Oh yes, she did.
A few days later, I mentioned it casually to the only other neighbor I know well, since we share a driveway. She responded enthusiastically: “Yes, we should! Kim and I were just talking about that yesterday!” (Kim was a neighbor I hadn’t met yet.)
Really? They were just talking about how we needed to have a neighborhood picnic? In this neighborhood where nobody seems to know anybody else or even care that they don’t?
Yes, they were.
You see, I’m not original one bit. And putting things off that we’re called to be doing… well, I think God has a sense of humor about all that.
It makes me want to say, Thanks, God. I got the message, loud and clear. We’ll host the picnic, for cryin’ out loud.
And that’s how I found myself knocking on doors on Pentecost Sunday.