Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Real Community Day

I got this in my email today and had to share it with you. There are good people in the world today!

Moving can bring out the best and the worst in people, I'm finding. They say that uprooting can really test a relationship, so, if that's the case, I think I'm passing with flying colors. And I've discovered where a very generous spirit lives: Defiance, Ohio.

After suffering through many months of unemployment, my wife and I moved this week from Colorado to Ohio, where she's starting a new job. Not knowing a soul there, we were pretty concerned about all the work involved, not only loading up our entire home and driving two big rental trucks 1,250 miles, but how we'd get all that stuff unloaded without killing ourselves in the process.

We made a connection to hire a couple of college students to help with all the heavy lifting once we got there. But, to our surprise, one neighbor after another stopped by and pitched in to help. What!?!? Have we moved to some other country? Maybe we've died and gone to heaven!

Unloading actually became fun and pure joy as we connected with so many wonderful new friends as we worked. The more people that helped, the easier the work became. We had two 26-foot trucks completely unloaded in a matter of a few hours, a job we were afraid might take days for the two of us alone. Many total strangers would either walk by the sidewalk or drive by in their cars and stop and ask us if we were moving in. Many were delighted that this fine old house that had sat empty for so long was coming to life again.

We were invited to an outdoor meal yesterday by neighbors on the same street as ours who also work at the same college my wife is starting at. They invited other colleagues who live in the neighborhood, and we had a wonderful time eating and talking and laughing the whole evening.

All the while, my brain was churning on this new sense of hope that I'm filled with, that people can be outgoing and decent to strangers. Amid all the conversation were lots of offers to be of help to one another in a variety of ways. It's wonderful to live in such a kind little town. I feel so grateful to be here, and wish the rest of the world could see how an entire community can model what it's like to look out for one another. My new motto is, "I used to be in denial, but now I live in Defiance!" May we all know such kindness...

4 comments:

Looking forward to seeing how you made a difference today!