By April Terry (personal blog <a href=”http://faithwarming.blogspot.com”>http://faithwarming.blogspot.com</a>)
Our annual block party this weekend on our street was the 24<sup>th</sup> annual one. Although we’ve only been here for the last five years, I have often been amazed at the wonderful community that I am part of here. In particular, the foundation of our neighborhood is a guy named Ralph.
Ralph is a very giving person. He has a servant heart. He’s never told me that he was a Christian, never preached to me, but I know that he is. I know it mostly by his actions. I remember the time that we came home to find that our front lawn had been edged by Ralph. He had been edging his son-in-law’s next door and decided that he would just continue on into our yard. It was a sweet gesture.
Ralph organizes the block party every year. He’s also the neighborhood watch guy and he organizes meetings several times a year. As if the block party isn’t a big enough endeavor, Ralph also organizes a breakfast for those willing to get up early the morning following the block party. I always try to help Ralph for the breakfast because I appreciate all that he does. That is the way that everyone feels about him. We want to work hard for him because he works hard for us.
This morning, after our breakfast, we had an impromptu meeting with our neighbors. We planned next year’s block party and talked a little about disaster preparedness for the neighborhood. I love knowing that my neighbors will be working together in case of a disaster in our area. It was a sharp contrast from a program that I have watched a couple of times called “Doomsday Preppers.” The thing that I noticed on that program is how often the people featured are focusing on themselves and protecting their own interests. Our neighborhood instead was looking at ways that they might work together for a common purpose.
Over the last few years, I have learned that Ralph would be there if we had a need. I know that I could go to him if I was in need, and there are many of my neighbors that I know I could depend upon in a crisis as well. That makes me part of a wonderful community that gets me outside my walls and into my community. This year, our community got even bigger when Ralph met the family that moved in behind him. They had to replace their back yard fence which backs up to Ralph’s back fence and so they worked with Ralph to achieve that common goal. Ralph, in turn, invited them to our block party and that is where I met them. They didn’t know anyone, so they tentatively stepped forward and started to chat. We were just starting the foot races and bike races, and their little four year old was feeling a little tentative. So, I started calling him by name and encouraging him to get in the game. It worked for the four year old and the parents as well. Now, they have become a member of our community and it is starting to stretch even further.
What a blessing our block party is. It gets us outside our walls and reminds us that we are part of a greater community. It reminds us that we aren’t a bunch of separate houses on a street or streets. We are a neighborhood. Ralph is a big part of the reason that we feel that way in our neighborhood because he has been getting outside of his walls for so long. The thing is that so many of us wait for people like Ralph to take the lead. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all think of ways to be the Ralph in our neighborhood? Ralph is like a foundation built on rock in our neighborhood.
September 3rd, 2012 · 1 Comment
Categories: DE Thoughts