A quiet walk through the neighborhood this afternoon. Most people were sequestered in their homes out of the cold. I had hoped for some conversations with a few of the young men who plan to play basketball. I spoke with two fifth graders briefly, but they were preoccupied with their video game. An older gentleman smoked his cigarette across the narrow easement. We commiserated about the light snow fall and 30 degree temperature. It was a brief conversation, but comfortable.
Yesterday afforded me the opportunity to make a new friend in the margins. I listened; he spoke, telling me part of his story. So much pain, guilt, regret, desperation for a better way. I asked him what next steps he plans to take. He laid out a few important ones which showed signs that he has not given up hope.
This is the sort of thing which is before me in the days to come. No grand programs, books, articles, speeches, or non-profit enterprises. I simply plan to do life with people as their equals. I’m not better or worse. Neither are they.
I don’t know what 2013 holds. No idea. I do know that I long to follow Jesus faithfully into the places he leads me to enter into relationship with the people he is seeking out: the forgotten, the marginalized, the broken, the most vulnerable, the lost. Regardless of race, creed, or social status. As my story interacts with theirs, I pray that our story will encounter the living God in the person of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. As this happens, I pray that their facades and mine will melt in the presence of authentic community in Christ.
Have a blessed and happy new year. I pray that in 2013 you follow hard after Jesus. Remember, we are always in the holy presence of Christ. That ought to motivate us to make every day count.