I love October. It's my favorite month, and not just because of my birthday. I enjoy the changing seasons, and the promise of approaching holidays. Beyond that, October brings with it numerous opportunities to reach out to neighbors, to connect - or reconnect - with those around us.
The cooler weather is perfect for going for a walk through your neighborhood. This, in turn, provides opportunities to bless your neighbors through something called a prayer walk.
A prayer walk simply means to walk around your neighborhood, praying as you go. (Some of us had to learn that it's okay, at least in these circumstances, to pray with our eyes OPEN!) Just pray for your neighbors - by name, if you know it. If not, God knows who lives in that house, and He's okay with you just offering a basic prayer of blessing over that home and all who live there. Don't forget to ask God for discernment about how to pray for people.
While you're out walking, you may meet some of your neighbors who are also out for a walk. Engage them in conversation, and if the opportunity arises, ask them how you can pray for them. (This may seem somewhat unusual, but very few people will object to having someone pray for them!)
Another idea - autumn, of course, means falling leaves and tree limbs. Are there senior adults that you know of who could use some help in cleaning up their yard? It doesn't have to be an all day job. Just a few minutes raking and picking up small, dead branches can go a long way towards improving the overall appearance of a yard. And I'm sure it will be warmly appreciated.
One of my favorite things about fall is that we get to eat more delicious "comfort" food - soups, stews, chili, etc. The next time you make a pot of stew or chili, why not take a bowl of it over to an older adult or other neighbor? Or better yet, invite them into your home to share a meal together. It doesn't have to be fancy, and in reaching out to them as a friend, you may just make a friend yourself.
Do you like to bake? Perhaps you could make some Halloween cookies or pumpkin bread and take some to the neighbors around you. Almost everyone loves home-baked goodies, and it's a great way to introduce yourself and begin a conversation.
Every new season brings with it opportunities and challenges for reaching out, making friends, being a good neighbor - these are just a few suggestions that I have used. Try it! And who knows? Your new friends may just be waiting for you to knock on their door.