Tuesday, May 31, 2011

at the gate

Just two years ago, when we lived in our quiet, orderly neighborhood in the U.S., it was uncommon for anyone but the Fed Ex guy and occasionally the mail-lady to come to our door.  Okay, our neighbors Jim and Andrea did drop in once in a while, and occasionally a friend would stop by – though almost never unannounced.  

But this neighborhood is like another time and another place.  Here we live in community resembling nothing I ever imagined.

Friends back home, you know me; a woman with classic introvert tendencies.  You know that I treasure my quiet and my privacy.  Yet somehow, mysteriously, I find myself delighted to be in such community – one where friends drop by any time to borrow some baking soda or a movie, or to invite us to a soccer game tomorrow.  

As I reflect on the visitors to our gate even in just one day, I’m reminded of how vibrant this all really is.  The list below is just from today.  It may have been a little busier than normal, but not much.

At our gate today…

8 am – a fellow-worker arrives to meet about a project we are coordinating together.
9 am – another fellow-worker drops by to ask Elise to help with a power point presentation.
10:15 – a friend returns a book she had borrowed
11:50 – two street kids come by looking for work
12:15pm – a co-worker’s son drops off his bicycle – Michael will be using it while he’s out of the country (and yes, Michael is VERY excited!)
1:30 – a friend of Elise and Amy's brings a flash drive for Elise
2:45 – “Ate B” picks up school supplies for the Bible Club
2:55 - Michael’s friend comes over to play
3:15 – a couple of unfamiliar women deliver household items to store for a co-worker
3:20 – Bebing arrives from the market with fresh fruits and vegetables and to pray for her cousin with cancer
4:45 – Michael’s friend’s dad and brother come to pick him up and stop to talk
5:10 – a beggar woman asks for food
5:30 – our neighbor stops in to discuss an issue that needs attention
8 pm – two co-workers come to take a photo for an upcoming newsletter
8:10 – another beggar woman looks for food
And finally the gate is locked for the night.

And we are the quiet ones in the community.

So friends, go ahead.   
Surprise us.   
Show up at our gate, stop in and stay awhile.   
We’ll turn the fan your way and bring you a tall glass of something cold to drink.  

After we answer the call at the gate.


Kay Heritage said...

Knock, knock! "It's me, Barb! I just need to borrow a cup of sugar to make my frozen PB pie!" Wish I could be one of the visitors stopping by at your gate! :)

us5 said...

sure wish you could too, friend! in fact, i'd just give you a slice of that PB pie, since i have some leftover in my freezer!!! :lol:

Alida said...

We have not had quite that many visitors in one day since we got here to Belize... most people call first but maybe once they get to know us it will be different!

I love your attitude about it all... as a fellow introvert it made me cringe a bit :-)

us5 said...

thanks, Alida! and welcome to earthenvessels. ♥

Carl G. said...

Christ in a thousand disguises!

us5 said...

i love that thought, Carl!!

cyndi said...

It seems like my generation was brainwashed by Miss Manners and Dear Abby to avoid uninvited interactions with others : Don't call before 9 a.m. Or after 9 p.m. Or during dinner, family time or television shows. Don't think about stopping by uninvited, and don't even think about inviting yourself... Then when we have an honest-to-goodness need it feels impossible to ask anyone for help because we must not impose on other people's time and commitments.

us5 said...

Cyndi, my first text yesterday (no one calls here - we text, since texting is cheaper!) came at 6 a.m.; our first visitors to the gate came at 8 a.m.

the last text of the day was at 9:36.

you can come by anytime you have a need! ♥