Coming from the South, I have heard a lot about how anti-social southerners are, and I’m not going to lie, a lot of it is true! We don’t like to make eye contact with one another, we definitely don’t talk to someone we don’t know (unless it’s for time or directions!) and we most certainly don’t enter into a full conversation with a complete stranger!
I think we as a country have been conditioned not to talk to strangers. It’s like we took the ‘stranger danger’ talk so seriously in our youth that it’s carried into our everyday lives. Do we really think that everyone we meet is a potential threat and therefore we should avoid even making eye contact with them? Are we so afraid of rejection that we can’t bring ourselves to even talk to our neighbours?
When Jesus left earth He said ‘go and make disciples of all nations’. How are we supposed to do that when we’re all looking at our feet?! One of my housemates said a couple of weeks ago ‘I wonder what would happen if everyone started making eye contact and chatting to people around them. What difference would it make?’ I think it would make all the difference. Once upon a time people knew their neighbours, they would celebrate and commiserate with them, they would borrow sugar from them, they had community together. If we want to build relationships and show people the love of Christ, it needs to be with the people around us. We’re supposed to shine the light of Christ, to stand out and be different and most importantly we’re supposed to love our neighbour, the physical as well as the metaphorical ones!
Mike is one of the student workers here at the Belfrey and is doing the Forge leadership scheme.
For more about Forge, please click here.