Two days ago I shared about the huge volume of pots and pans which I came home to see dropped off in front of my house. I actually dreamed about it and have recorded what little I can remember in my dream blog.
Back in real life, that night at 1:00 am, I awoke with a frightful start to hear the loud bang of firecrackers directly below my window... the family was paying traditional respects to the gods. Then, the cooking crew came over around 4:30 in the morning and it was loud chaos after that. They used the entire front porch area for the cooking preparation area.
It probably would have helped me make huge inroads with those particular neighbors if I had stuck around to attend the feast. But having only known about it the night before, and having other things to do before leaving town for a week today, not to mention not being in the most celebratory of moods, I begged off. I do know, however, that one thing God wants me to prioritize is befriending these people somehow. He spoke to me on that point clearly today as I shared again in another of our locations about the elder son in the parable of the kind father in Luke 15.
In Luke 15, the image of partaking in the joy of others (eg. God) is a recurring theme. Yet I was not able to enter into my neighbors' joy because of my feelings of boundaries not being respected. I even used the story of my weekend as an illustration and asked the people to hold me accountable for taking the next step whenever I go back there to share again in a few months. I think God was speaking to them also.