click here to read part 1
Let me start off today by saying that I'm a people-pleaser to the extreme. I know that I may sometimes sound like a know-it-all, which is the danger of the written word as opposed to a face to face conversation. I really am just trying to piece together what's in front of me in line with the Gospel and figure out how I'm to respond. I invite you on this journey, and please know that I am eager for correction and critique so that I can grow and learn more.
So, we were talking about living incarnationally. By that I mean intentionally moving into the places everyone seems to be trying to get out of. It has been my experience that we can do very little from the outside. From the outside, our instinct can be to send money or spend an hour or two volunteering somewhere. This is of some benefit, but I think that what these streets are crying out for is true companionship. A sharing of pain and resources.
Guess what? I've found that true ministry is never a one sided thing and what may seem like a sacrifice at the start ends as an exchange. People I think God wants me to help time and time again end up being teachers and friends to me. Don't for a minute think that I'm holy and selfless in all of this, I'm just trying to find the place that fulfills the desires and callings God has put into my heart.
I've lived on both the right side and the wrong side of the proverbial "tracks" and I find that, while one side is safer and more comfortable than the other, it also is impossible to keep perspective in a bubble of affluence.
Am I against wealth or living in nice neighborhoods? For myself I am, because I've been there and I know that it's not God's best for me. For you, I don't know. That's for you and God to figure out. Just know that I'm not here to judge, I've got too many planks in my eye to be trying to find a speck of sawdust in yours.
I feel that this is all pretty stream of thought and incomplete, which means you have a good idea of the state of my mind these days. Moving from a beautiful neighborhood, and steady income and the best community of friends I could ask for has been hard. I am homesick. But...that little piece of me that God made for this is coming alive again. I've missed it, and it's good to be back. I don't know what the next year will look like, much less the next 5 or 10 years, but I truly feel that we are on the right track, and I am thankful.