the walk

The trees. The houses. The concrete beneath my feet. It’s a far different landscape than the one Jesus knew when He walked this earth.  This was my random thought on a recent walk through my neighborhood. Or maybe not so random at all. Because Jesus answered my thought, turning my walk into His classroom.

The landscape is different, but He wasn’t here for the landscape. He came for people, and they have never changed. Suddenly, I found my eyes straining to see what He sees as I walked.

Perhaps living on my street is a woman caught in her sin, struggling under the weight of her guilt and shame. My ears hear songbirds and rustling leaves in the breeze…but my heart hears a voice.

“Who will go to her? Who will tell her that God doesn’t carry a rock?”

Maybe in that blue house with the white shutters is a weary mother who weeps every day for the son who has walked away from God. Perhaps her own faith is growing weak as she loses hope that he will ever return from his self-destructive ways.

“Who will go to her with comfort? Who will cry out to the Father with her, and believe with her for the return of a prodigal?”

On the street behind me is a house that a wife and mother used to live in a number of years ago. Then she committed suicide, leaving a husband and two sons to cope with the devastation. A few doors down from there is a family who lost their son to a drunk driver a few years back. It was the second child they’d lost. Several families on my block have suffered a loss of income and are struggling to hold onto their place in the neighborhood. On another street nearby is a woman with two little boys. Her husband died about 5 years ago.  Now she has a boyfriend, and we can hear the yelling late at night. Sometimes the police come, and the boyfriend leaves. A few days later he’s back, and so is the yelling.

As I look at the houses that I pass every day, I get a momentary glimpse through the eyes of Jesus at the mission field I live in.

In 2007 I heard Him ask, “who will go for Me?”. I raised my hand and went to Africa. And then I went to India.  I have yet to go next door.

And then I went for a walk through a mission field. I think it may have changed my life.

 

 

6 thoughts on “the walk

  1. On the inside of the doors to my church is a sign that says “You are now entering the mission field.” It’s a good reminder that there are lost and hurting people all around us. Just the other day I had to go to downtown Portland. It was a nice sunny day, and it seemed every where I looked was a homeless person. You don’t see them as much on a rainy day, and you almost don’t see them at all in my little suburb. I bought a hot lunch – a rice bowl – for one old man who was begging for change. I felt a strong urge to come back and buy lunch for every homeless person I saw, because the thought of them being hungry broke my heart. As I walked away I felt a drop or two of water on my arm, but it wasn’t raining. It occurred to me that those were the tears of God whose heart was also broken because there are so many who go without. Thanks for sharing the story of your walk. It was very convicting. Peace, Linda

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    • Linda, my husband has a ministry to the homeless in our community, so I really resonate with your comment.

      “I felt a strong urge to come back and buy lunch for every homeless person I saw, because the thought of them being hungry broke my heart.”…I can see the heart of God right there my friend.

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  2. I have encouraged my congregation to adopt a street. Not in the way people do when they keep it clean, but in order to intercede for the people that live on it. I believe in prayer walking. That’s an effective way to get a burden for your neighbors.

    That was a powerful post. I felt it. If you don’t mind, I will read it to my church in an upcoming service.

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    • Adopting a street is an awesome idea. I may use it in our women’s ministry, if you don’t mind.

      And are you kidding? You think I might mind if you read my stuff to people? I can’t even fake false modesty right now…DANG man…read away!! And just for that…I’m sharing your blog with all my fb friends. 🙂

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  3. Isn’t it strange…I do that a lot. I don’t know that much about any of my nieghbors….I have snipits of information but nothing like what you described. I wave at everyone as they pass by, or as I drive by…or walk by. I often imagine entire family dynamics that are just that, imaginary. I know enough about a few of them to make small talk. But for the most part, even though some have lived in this neighborhood, even the same street for much longer than even I…not to know them is my crime. I know that some have made it quite clear that they have no use for ‘religion’..I want so much to tell them..I’m not selling anything. Least of all, religion. I get tongue tied and just avoid them. I want to do something different. I want to face that challenge and be the first sight of Jesus in thier life. You amaze me. You really do.

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