Updated: May 7
As I was watching the rain storm the other night, a memory creeped into thought of all the times my mamaw Barbara would porch sit with me and my brothers when we were kids and watch the storm while sharing many stories and memories of her childhood experiences, family, and Jesus. I surely do miss those times. Another thing I miss is porch sitting in general, we have become a busy society that hardly ever, anyone takes the time to sit on a porch and share stories and watch the blessings that God has given us. I believe old traditions die too early and need to be revived in order to help the world we are in and sometimes to help show healing for our communities.
As a child riding in the back seat of my great aunt’s car I would never forget all the many people I would see on a porch as we drove by to get to the place we were heading. Something that always struck my mind was that they always found the time to wave at me. When was the last time you waved to a stranger from your porch? Back then I always thought that it was just a thing people did in the country but as I have gotten older, I realized that it may be more than that. I have come to the realization that this gesture is often taken for granted and that it is unrecognizable in todays world. What this gesture means to me are a couple things. The first thing is a thing called respect, which seems to have lost its shine in this this dark world today. I can’t help but think that in a world of yesterday that respect for others was one of the top priorities of everyday life, believer of Jesus or not, everyone seemed to show respect no matter what each other believed in, or how the person voted. One of the many issues we have in society now is a corrupt media on the television and in the palm of our hands on our phones, tablets and whatever else and we need more powering off those things and sitting on a porch and sharing what truly matters through conversations.
The second thing that I believe that a wave to a stranger from your porch shows, is care. When was the last time you showed any care for a stranger? The eye contact and smile can be contagious and the wave puts the icing on the cake. When have we done any of these, whether alone all three at the same time? You never know what someone is going through, showing a gesture of care can impact a person in so many ways. Acknowledging someone exists is part of our purpose as believers and waving while smiling shows that they aren’t invisible to you and of course, never to Jesus. I am reminded of what Romans 15:1- 2 says about caring for others and bearing their weakness,” Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” A gesture of a wave may not feel like bearing someone’s weakness but it shows the care you have for them that you took the time to know them for that short amount of time.
Lastly, a gesture of a wave is an unselfish action. When we wave from our porch at our neighbor or someone that we may not personally know we show that we are not selfish and that they are at that time a priority for us. As a believer, we are reminded by scripture to always care for others before our own self and always put Jesus first but do we actually put those things in the correct order? If we can’t wave to a stranger, neighbor, or even friend from our porch how can we honestly say we are a born-again believer of Jesus? Who is your priority in your life? Are your priorities out of order? Jesus, others, self is the order required of a true believer and sometimes, to be honest, I see a lot of non-believers putting others before themselves than I see a so called “Christian.” No one should seek his own welfare, but rather his neighbor’s. (1 Corinthians 10:24) If we would live out the scripture in our everyday life and start with a simple wave from a porch, how many people could we help direct them away from depression, suicide, and other sin? It seems we have lost our focus on what our purpose as a follower of Jesus is and it is time to do the simple things like porch sitting again.
Psalms 46:10 reminds us to be still and know that God is who He is and is always there, so why wouldn’t we do what he is telling us to do? Are we too busy for God? The Bible says that busyness leads to doubt and a spiritual disconnection from God. If we are too busy for God, our stillness before the Lord will vanish, along with our peace. The sinful nature, the world, and Satan thrive when we are too busy for God.
So, I leave you with a challenge, take time to do more of porch sitting in your life, wave at others that pass by, and always smile. Share stories with your family, especially about Jesus and His love. Doing this simple thing can have a bigger impact more than you know. May God allow you to be still and help you focus on Him, others, and self in that order, Amen.