How a lawn mower led to meeting deeper needs

We are Chris and Elizabeth McKinney and we’re going to share a story about our neighbor.

We live in Columbia, Missouri and it can get really hot and humid in the summers. We have a big backyard and I have a push mower, so obviously our neighbors have seen me struggle to mow my yard in the summer. So we got into a conversation with Mary, who recently had someone helping her with her lawn. That person was not able to help her anymore, and she has really bad grass allergies. So she said, Hey, would you be willing to mow my lawn using my riding lawn mower, and then you can use that to mow your lawn as well? And it was like the clouds parted, it was like, “Yes, that would be an incredible gift to me to get to mow your lawn and mine with your riding lawn mower.

And one of the things we learned really early on as we started neighboring was just the importance of mutual giving and receiving in relationships with our neighbors. 

Mary was super generous towards us. She would give us her hand-me-downs for our kids, and toys. So we wanted to also be able to be there for her, whether it was a meal in a time of need, or mowing her lawn, or even just providing some spiritual input or encouragement. For instance, when she was going through a hard time, inviting her to come to church.

So what started as both of us having a need, whether for mowing their lawn or whatever it was, really turned into us both ministering to each other.