Longer, lighter days. More time in the garden. Ice creams while lying on the grass in the local park. Neighbours happy to linger longer on the pavement with sunshine above. Sunny summer weather changes us! This beautiful spell of warm weather is, they say, the hottest in seven years. Is it creating a different atmosphere in your street? Are you bumping into your neighbours more often with hose or water bucket in hand? Perhaps you find that you are spending more time watching your kids play on the swings with other parents beside you. A shared weather experience brings an opportunity for a conversation starter. Generally, people enjoy the warmth and will be more open to chatting positively. Maybe a conversation opener like, ‘Isn’t this weather a blessing? ‘ is enough to start a deeper one- to-one.
If you meet those who moan about the heat, it is worth trying to work out those who just like to moan from those who genuinely are struggling and might need some neighbourly support. The statistics are quite frightening when it comes to elderly and vulnerable people unable to regulate their habits or body temperature and dying during a heat-wave. Some gentle advice, iced drinks, extra popping in , a loan of a fan- this might make all the difference this summer.
The Message has this lovely verse from Isaiah 30:26
Better yet, on the Day GOD heals his people of the wounds and bruises from the time of punishment, moonlight will flare into sunlight, and sunlight, like a whole week of sunshine at once, will flood the land.
Now there is a great conversation starter!
So take a moment to thank God for the blessing of sunshine and warmth. And ask him to give you one opportunity this week to share a conversation about faith with someone outside your house.
Of course, now that I have actually got round to sitting inside and typing up this article, instead of sunbathing and eating ice- cream; the weather will probably break, the British rain will begin and you will wonder what on earth I am on about!!