Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off. Proverbs 27:10 {edited-from 26:10-I turned to the next chapter too soon. oops}

I used to read this verse as a teenager and then young adult and think…. Why aren’t people more “neighborly” now-days? 

There were one or two houses on my street where we knew the people on a “HI, how are you?” basis… and even now, in my neighborhood, we only casually speak to our neighbors. We try to be friendly and have invited them to church and inquired about their salvation, but we have no one we would turn to in a calamity.

And I suppose this verse could be talking about our making friends of those who live near us {we certainly need to make an effort to be kind and get to know those who live around us}; but people just live such separate lives anymore, are often not even home until late in the evening, and don’t really want to go to church on Sundays. 

Even when cute little kids invite them.

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Then a few years after I had gotten married, journeyed to a strange city, moved into a new house, joined a new church and started to make a life… with this man for-ever-after, I realized it could be talking about something a little differently. 

Our life revolves around our church and the activities of it. And I now live very far from any family… even from the church where I grew up. 

I cannot go to my brother’s house or any of my family’s houses {even if I wanted to} without nearly a whole day’s travel or more!

My own friend, my neighbor that is near, even my father’s friend {kindred spirits through loving and serving the same God} is my church family

The Lord has truly blessed our little family with {-[neighbors]-} through the wonderful people who faithfully attend our church. They have encouraged us and been there for us during the years we have been here. A few have become very dear to us, as family.

My heart had a rocky start with being far away from family and the people I knew so well from childhood. I have come to realize I do not handle change well without much help from the Lord.

But now, over 9 year later, I have come to the point where I could not imagine being in any other “family.” They are my neighbor that is near…  

That is indeed a blessing!

EDIT: This is a difficult post for me to revisit, as we have since [and not long after this], moved to another church family, in rather sudden & unexpected circumstances… BUT, I am thankful that it has not taken nearly a decade to feel completely loved and welcomed into this new family where God sent us.

Not even 2 years later, we feel knit with a people who have welcomed us with more enthusiasm and grace than I have ever experienced anywhere. And I love them for it!

And the Lord has also given us “family” around the world in the form of friends who have traveled to spread the gospel in other countries…

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