Why We Need to Break a Window
This is what my friend said when he noticed his children playing portable video games with friends in the pew after church on Sunday:
I wouldn't mind paying for them, I just wish kids would start breaking windows again.
At first I laughed until I realized he meant every word. He pointed to that group of kids huddled together. They weren't really talking to one another except to chime in the next game move.
Conversations about real life matters were non-existent.
As he continued to ponder, my friend said, I can't remember the last time I heard one of my neighbors complain that a kid broke their window with a baseball.
His point? Kids hardly go outside to throw the ball to each other anymore. Or play hoops. Or venture a game of hide-n-seek. Or just lay in the grass looking up at the sky to daydream with each other.
Conversations about the ordinary that build relationships.
Nowadays, kids can sit for hours in front of a television or computer screen playing video games. My friend and his wife have started setting limits on how much time their kids spend on them.
Recently, he sent the kids outside with the instruction to "run, play and get some fresh air." The kids shuffled outside, long-faced, and sat on the bench in a row - almost like they didn't know what to do or talk about outside of their electronics comfort zone.
Then he realized that there weren't any neighbor kids outside playing either. They were all inside their homes, as well. Behind closed doors and perfect windows.
And in the middle of his story, I thought about Christians.
Sometimes we get so busy meeting and talking about how to reach people with the Gospel that we neglect to actually venture outside to run, play and get some fresh air with our neighbors.
And when we do, it's so foreign that we bench ourselves convinced that we're no good at getting the Word out. We're afraid to break a neighbor's window (so to speak) to open the lines of communication.
To have those conversations about Jesus that mean everything.
So we tend to stay behind closed doors and stained glass windows.
Breaking windows can be intimidating because we don't know how people might react. But doing so lets in fresh air. And light. And generates face-to-face conversations instead of texting ones.
Adults, just like children, struggle with setting boundaries on how much time we spend on electronics. I'm raising my hand in the guilty group.
Perhaps its time to close the laptop, head outside, and break a neighbor's window, figuratively speaking.
When was the last time a neighbor kid broke one of your windows, or vice versa?