Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Love your neighbor

One of the basic foundations of the Christian faith is, "Love your neighbor." We teach our children to follow these words and are very careful to model this mandate as well.  We spend a lot of time showing them that this doesn't mean neighbor neighbor, but giving them a broad definition of neighbor as anyone with whom you come in contact.

Somewhere along the way we forgot that neighbor can still mean neighbor.  We got so busy telling ourselves that neighbor means the homeless in the closest city, and the immigrants without family, and even the starving children a continent away that we forgot the people who live next to, across from, and two doors over.  Our neighbors.

When we moved here 10 years ago, we didn't plan to stay.  The move was so fast that in buying a home we were just looking for a suitable available building; we didn't have time to research neighborhoods, schools, and communities.  We just picked the best of the options given to us, packed up, and moved.  But it didn't take long to realize that God had placed us right where He wanted us.  And moving again seemed so daunting and labor intensive that we haven't visited that thought in years.

That doesn't mean that we wouldn't love more land (chickens?  yes!) or more kitchen counter space (it's better not to look around so as to avoid coveting) or more square footage (more bedrooms, anyone?) but we have replaced desire with love for our neighbors.  Maybe someday God will call us to move but for now, we're here for a reason.

Recently I invited several friends who love their neighbors well to come into my parenting class to talk about how they put this love into action.  As one of them so aptly reminded us, "These are your people," and that's how I want to remember my neighbors.  Yes, these are my people, this is where God planted us, so we will serve those planted around us.

Get your shovels, kids, we've got some work to do!

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