It has been nearly three weeks since our neighborhood Egg Hunt and I should have posted about it the night after, but life got in the way in the form of a 10-20 page paper due the following week, work stress, and the day-to-day events like changing out my work hat, with my “mom” hat, and “wife” hat, and “me-time-NOW” hat.
Truthfully, I purposely waited a week after the hunt because we (my husband and my small group) used the opportunity to invite my neighbors to Easter church service the following Sunday. I wanted to see if we had any intended come, before rambling about the event.
I was still nervous up until the couple of minutes before I shouted, “ready, set, hunt!” I had all the eggs stuffed the night before and I was just hoping I wouldn’t have to make any lengthy speeches about why I decided to host the event or why my lawn, with the insane amount of fire ant hills, was the less than ideal spot for the hunt (I didn’t).
My husband, the kids, and I got home with about thirty minutes to spare. I hurridly brought the eggs out and had my kids help me spread out the eggs in each of our labeled spots. I had an obvious-enough hunting area for the 0-2 age group, a try-the-best-I-could-to-hide area for the 3-5 group, and spread-them-out-like-crazy area for those 6 and older.
My friends from small group showed up and with five minutes to go, we patiently waited for anyone who RSVP’d to show up. Finally, it was 6:00 p.m. and we were missing four kids who I knew would be there. We waited and waited, but they never came and since there were so many already set to go – I let them go.
In less than ten minutes, the eggs were found and the kids were sitting on the street curbs, opening up the eggs and looking through their treasures.
One little girl and her daddy said thanks and mosied on their way. He’s been hard to connect with, but he came and that is a starting point. The couple two houses down and their twins hung around. The husband stood and talked with the other men who were holding up the invisible fence at the edge of our yard. They talked about manly things…the wife talked with us gals and as it turned out, her mother went to our church. She came the following Sunday and they plan on returning once their children are well.
We had another neighbor express interest in coming to church, but I’m not sure if she was there. I keep wanting to offer to bring her daughter with us one Wednesday, but we don’t have any room in our car. I know I should follow-up with this neighbor, but I don’t know how without making it sound like I’m making her feel guilty. What if she was there and I didn’t see her? “Missed you Easter Sunday!” just seems too indicting.
About thirty minutes after the start of the Egg Hunt, my neighbors that I knew were coming showed up. I started losing it – oh no, they thought it started at 6:30, not 6:00 – we rushed around and all the kids who participated donated two or three of their eggs for us to rehide so this family could participate too. It was so touching to see them all want to make sure this family could enjoy the experience as well.
About an hour later we were still chatting on our lawn. I was starving, but I didn’t want the conversation to end. Of the twenty-two houses on our two streets that end in cul-de-sacs, six houses participated and we had over ten kids hunting.
One neighbor asked how long we had done this and I said, “this is the first time! Hopefully, we can make it an annual thing and maybe some food next year too!”
Overall, I was very happy with our turnout and that we were able to get people to come to church too was icing on the bunny shaped cookies!
In the meantime, I have been reading a book by Alan J. Roxburgh called “Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood,” which my dad gave me. The beginning is very academic, but once you get into the meat of the book it has some great implications for what it means to be missional in today’s North American society. I’m hoping it will give me some ideas on my follow-up.