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Watching the neighbors

Shenzhen, China

Hi neighbors! This is my dishwashing view. The window at the very top is my next door neighbor’s kitchen window. I have a personal challenge of trying to get them to wave at me when we happen to be in sync washing dishes. I am their American neighbor that they are completely shy around. But I still try to wave at them when I catch their eye and I have successfully managed to get the young daughter to wave at me twice. During this coronavirus period, I had a massive victory: I got grandpa to wave at me. He had to look away before limply raising his hand in a sort of wave. But I didn’t care, I had made contact! (I must have caught him at his isolation breaking point.)

When I look at all of these windows in my apartment complex (and there are a lot – I live on the 16th floor of a 29 story building and there must be about 12 buildings in our complex) I think about how each kitchen window represents a life, a couple, a family. Behind each window there is a story to tell. A life with hopes, dreams, tears and delights. Intimate moments, lonely heartaches. A life wonderfully crafted and dearly loved by God. Seen not just by an overly (embarrassingly? obnoxiously? sweetly?) friendly American neighbor waving at them through her window but seen, known and cherished by the Lord God their creator.

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalms‬ 139:1-6‬

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”

Psalms‬ 139:1-6‬

Heidi Olson hosts the Spiritual Waimai Podcast

By Heidi Olson

6 replies on “Watching the neighbors”

I love your creativity here, Heidi. I also love the concept of your Spiritual Waimai. I am sure it is very needed.

Hi Ruthann! Thank you so much! I hope that I can bring a little light and love to our world. I have really been enjoying writing Spiritual Waimai, it is really pushing my creative process hard!

thank you Mary! I have a Facebook page as well with more to share if you are interested. You can search for Spiritual Waimai in Facebook to find me. And you can also subscribe to the podcasts. Have a wonderful day!

The few Chinese people I know in our small, Lincolnshire market town are so hospitable and friendly. Next year I hope to visit the Yellow Mountains. I wonder if you are still locked down?

Hi Jennie, I am so glad that you have met some wonderful Chinese people. I have lived here for 12 years and am so grateful for my MANY Chinese friends that do so much for me as a foreigner in their country. I so appreciate their kindness and openheartedness!

Things have been open here for quite some time. But people are mainly going to school and work and that is about it. People are cautious. We all wear masks, temperatures are constantly taken and there really are no large group meeting.

Our city has had zero cases for a couple weeks now and all patients have been discharged from the hospital which has been amazing.

I hope you are doing well and safe where you are!! Take good care! -Heidi

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