crying out for my neighborhood


Tonight at youth group, our youth director created several stations where students could practice actively praying in the way of Jesus. One of the stations was a long sheet of poster paper hung on the wall. Here, students could write or draw some aspect of their relationship to God, a prayer need, what heaven might look like, what makes them cry out to God, and so on. Rather than simply watching, I chose to participate. The drawing in the photo is the result. I attempted to draw myself crying out to God for my neighborhood and my city. A chain link fence is nearby; the city skyline rises in the distance. It’s a poor depiction of the myriad conflicting realities of my urban culture. So much beauty, so much pain and ugliness. Disappointment and hope grappling in conflict.

I wonder, who am I Lord that you should give me the responsibility to wade into the cultures swirling around me? What do I possibly have to offer? Then I remember, it isn’t about me. It’s all about Jesus Christ and his love for the lost. And I cry out, ashamed at my lack of courage, and pained by the hopelessness I see in the eyes of my neighbors.

It is a hopelessness and despair which is hidden under the veneer of worldly certainty and demonic deceptions via spiritualities which deny the person and work of Jesus. It is a callousness due to the comforts of immediate gratification. It is a complete lack of spiritual awareness concerning the truth of the gospel, and our part in God’s grand story.

Enter the simple truck driver, middle-aged and graying. Just the sort of person who, with many others, God might use to disturb the lifeless urban waters in a forgotten neighborhood.


One thought on “crying out for my neighborhood

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