Neighboring. It’s not something that is done much these days. Chances are, we don’t even know who our neighbors are, let alone do a little neighboring.
When I was a kid neighboring was a part of our life together. When someone new moved into the neighborhood they would often be welcomed with fresh cookies or a loaf of homemade bread. Neighbors often sat on porches or in backyards sipping lemonade or a “highball” on hot muggy summer evenings watching the neighborhood kids play tag or ghosts in the graveyard or catch lighting bugs and talking about nothing in particular or everything in general. Now there is better than a good chance that we know little about our neighbors as we nod or wave from a distance before ducking into our homes.
Years ago Robert Putnam wrote about how the demise of the once ubiquitous bowling leagues reflected the decline of civic engagement and the social threads that held our communities together. In other words, the demise of neighboring. Covid just exasperated this.
Our disconnectedness is not healthy. We were created in the Divine image to be a part of a community as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, as the Apostle Paul wrote.