Blair and Braylon were sound asleep in their toddler beds and Holly and I were comfortably enjoying the beginning stages of REM sleep one Wednesday evening when the doorbell rang.
A bit startled, I jumped out of bed and walked to answer the door, with Holly cautiously following close behind. It was Marcus and LaToya, and two of their three young kids, Sineah and Trinity. Their oldest, three year old Casin, stayed home with his grandparents, Ash and Rita, presumably sound asleep. We met Marcus and LaToya on a neighborhood walk shortly after we moved into the neighborhood about a year ago.
Marcus, LaToya, and the extended family they lived with have been described to us by some of our other neighbors as a nuisance, criminal, and a bother. But to us, they have become dear neighbors as we have had the privilege of sharing time, food, recreation, birthday parties, stories about life and faith, and mutual friendship.
After I answered the door and Holly realized it wasn’t the boogeyman, she stepped out from behind me and kindly invited Marcus and LaToya into our home. They had walked over in need of a favor, the kind of favor a person only asks of good friends and family. They and their precious babies had not eaten dinner, had an empty pantry, and no way to get to the store.
The five adults living in their home share one vehicle and LaToya’s father was using it to work the late shift at the restaurant he manages, leaving the rest of the household somewhat stranded in our neighborhood, which is far from walkable. LaToya, clearly exhausted, asked, “Is there any way you can give us a ride to the grocery store, Kevin?”
In this moment I became keenly aware of the abundant resources we have and often take for granted. As always, we had a full pantry, two vehicles for our comparatively small family, and money in our wallets. Holly and I shared some of Blair and Braylon’s snacks with Sineah and Trinity, gave Marcus the keys to one of our cars for the night, and offered some cash to help with the groceries.
Our friends gratefully accepted the use of our car, visited with us in the living room while the kids enjoyed a snack, and declined our offer of grocery money. LaToya shared that she had a good week of tips at the Mexican bistro she waits tables at and that they only needed a ride this time.
Marcus and LaToya have been much-needed friends, good neighbors, and a blessing to us over the past year, and on this night we were invited to be good neighbors to them. It was truly a joy and a privilege.
Kevin, Holly, Blair & Braylon Davis are missional practitioners. They live near the old downtown of McKinney, TX. Kevin is a high school math teacher and Holly is a social worker. Kevin is the missionary residency director of Forge Dallas. Together as a family they are loving their neighbors. You can find out more about Kevin or Forge Dallas at email@example.com and www.forgedallas.org