Recently some of the children of our neighbourhood, after watching the movie "Holes", had decided to reinact the movie in other people’s lawns in the neighbourhood. After some young teenager shared bravado one of the children suggested that my lawn be the excavation site upon which it was announced, "we can’t do that God lives across the street". Being a pastor sometimes can be a negative but it has its perks. While I certainly do not espouse to be anywhere close to Godlike status (my friends and especially pastoral friends will be more than willing to affirm that) I kind of like the sound of "God lives across the street" and not because I am into my lawn.
We have been living "up on the hill" in "Brampton North" (none of these are complements from the locals here in O’ville) for almost seven years and we are now enjoying the beginning of some meaningful friendships with our neighbours. Those of us that live in suburbia (technically O’ville is not suburbia but our neighbourhood is definitely designed that way) know how hard it is to develop relationships in our neighbourhoods. So you can imagine my surprise this morning when the mother of the child who thinks "God lives across the street" called out to me just before she jumped into her taxi. She asked the taxi driver to wait, crossed the street and then came up to me and told me how much she had been moved by a sermon I had preached a few weeks ago entitled "Exhausted". "It was like you were speaking right to me", she said (God moment).
What is most amazing is that this woman does not attend our church or any church in the area. A few weeks ago she had "just shown up" at our front door with a Bible in hand asking if my wife would pray for her. I suppose she must have been listening to her son, "God lives across the street".
I am reminded once again of the amazing opportunity we have to represent God on our streets.