18 Footsteps

18 footsteps.  That’s all it took.  Laughter, friendship, support, salvation?
What more is only 18 footsteps away?

When I moved to South Morang 15 months ago I saw the potential for living in an amazing community.  We were situated in a new housing development estate and the longest serving resident had only been there for eight years.  Thousands of houses had been built and there were still a few hundred on the plans.  While we were only renting our townhouse we were dreaming of planting a new congregation in the area, so our future plans were to be here long term.

By the end of the first week I realised that I had not just naturally bumped into any of our neighbours.  We were sharing a wall with two neighbours and yet we had not met them face-to-face.  I was determined to get to know people however it was not going to be as casual as I had first thought.  So, I plucked up all my courage and went door knocking!  Let me just state, this is not my usual behaviour.  I am generally very friendly to people I meet but I don’t like to push myself on anyone.  However, I realised that I only had a very short period of time where I could use the ‘I’ve just moved into the area’ line.  So I went with all the courage I could muster and a friendly smile plastered all over my face.

I met Donna first.  She lived next door with her husband and three children.  She was incredibly chatty but had only just moved in to the neighbourhood herself.  They had sold their house that was closer to the city and had moved further out to find a bigger place.  Open and chatty was a good start and so, with my renewed confidence, I moved on to the next house.  Dee was only a little younger than me.  She and her partner had bought the corner townhouse and were planning to marry at the end of the year.  She invited me in and we chatted for quite a while.  ‘This could be the start of a beautiful friendship,’ I thought as I waved her goodbye.  The neighbours on our other side were not home so I thought I would retire for the day as two out of three aint bad!  Now that I had just met my new future best friend and a lovely motherly neighbour, I was quite content.  Little did I know that in the next 12 months I would only see my ‘new future best friend’ twice and that was as she drove past me in the car!

It took me another week to find our neighbours on the other side at home and introduce myself.  Ben and Amanda were a couple, about the same age as my husband and I, and were planning on buying in the area sometime after their wedding which was scheduled at the end of the year.  They had not met anyone else in the neighbourhood but were quite friendly.

Well, three neighbours in the first two weeks.  That wasn’t bad, however soon enough two weeks turned in to two months and I realised I had not had or made the opportunity to meet anyone else.  Not just that, but I hadn’t even had the opportunity to pump into the neighbours I had already met.  This called for drastic measures.  So we worked out a date when we were free and decided that we would invite Ben and Amanda over for tea.  This was a big step and yet I knew that Cam could make conversation with a wooden post if he needed to and it wasn’t far to run home for them if thing […]

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.