As we continue to celebrate Water Month at the Garden Church, we take to heart a saying of Jesus:
"Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” [Matthew 10:42]
At the Garden Church we always have water to hand out. And we never underestimate the cumulative power of small acts of friendliness. We make it a practice to say 'Hi' those who pass by our fence, to try to strike up conversations with anyone who looks in and seems curious. For us these are ways to build community around us.
We live in an increasingly lonely world where it is common not to interact with strangers on the street. I've even been hearing about 'negative politeness,' the concept that it is impolite to interrupt someone else's sphere of solitude in public settings. Has it become rude to be friendly?
But perhaps to encourage us not to be too quick to practice to negative politeness, I have also been reading about the benefits of 'micro-interactions.' Sociological experiments have shown that even the briefest of friendly interactions lift people's spirits, the spirits of those reached out to as well as the spirits of those reaching out. Sounds like a win-win. Sounds like a way to turn anonymous city streets into communities.
Certainly we can't greet everyone we pass on an urban street, nor is that always welcome. But I am resolving to venture more greetings and conversations with strangers when I sense an openness to them.
Let us always be ready with a cup of cold water -- literal or figurative -- for those who thirst for community in a lonely world. And may all of our Garden Church community -- local and long-distance -- know you are seen, you are heard, you are loved, you are dear to us.
3pm Work Together
5pm Eat together grab and go style format
All Are Welcome
Come as you are, stay as you are able.
With you in the Spirit,