This week in Passion & Purpose, Josh Havens (The Afters) shares how a chance encounter with a neighbor he didn’t know challenged him to open up his eyes and look to serve the needs of the people living literally across the street from him.

“One day as I was leaving my house and pulling out of the driveway, I saw one of my neighbors working in his yard like I’ve seen him so many times before. I waved at him and went about my day, not thinking much about it at all. When I came home, I saw a note posted to my front door. It was from the neighbor I had waved at, and it read: ‘Dear Neighbor. Earlier you waved at me, and I did not wave back. I’m sorry that I didn’t wave. I have a lot of hard things going on in my life right now, and I’m sorry I took it out on you.’ After reading his note, I immediately walked across the street, knocked on his door, and introduced myself to this guy that I had waved at so many times before but never knew. He told me that his wife had recently suffered a stroke and he didn’t have a lot of family or friends around. He’d been trying to get connected with a church, but hadn’t been able to find community or friends and was just really unhappy. I could just tell he was in a pretty dark place… really suffering inside… really angry with God… and it really broke me down that this guy was living just a couple hundred feet away from me and I had no idea he was going through these things! For me, that experience was a reminder that sometimes we just need to slow down and actually take time to notice the people God has put in our lives – the people that are right in front of us – who He wants us to have community with. Sometimes we get so busy living our lives going from thing to thing and building up our own kingdom, that we lose track of what’s really important which is building up God’s kingdom.” –Josh Havens (The Afters)

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