Any place in the world has its fair share and more of pain. Quiet suburbs finds themselves consumed by drugs, gangs, disease, broken relationships, and even death. Big cities are inevitably live with reputations that are often far worse than reality, but evil consumes them just as easily. Darkness struggles in every community, looking to live, looking to grow, looking to consume. It is easy to be caught in the darkness.
Yet I find there is more to any and every community than the simmering underbelly of evil. Communities are simply groups of people. Communities are engaged, filled with life, and very human. The individuals I find there are struggling against the odds. They are hoping beyond hope for something more than what they have. They are thirsty for something more than what is within.
I am not the first to see the situation. I may feel helpless yet I know I am not alone. “He [God] couldn't believe what he saw: not a soul around to correct this awful situation. So he did it himself, took on the work of Salvation, fueled by his own Righteousness.” (Isaiah 59.16) God did not stop there. Divinity extended an invitation to anyone willing to listen, to everyone willing to engage, to be part of the realization of this dream. As I find myself coming back into it, again and again, I find that it is a powerful, compelling dream filled with hope, belonging, and above all compassion.
The complete facts are this. We are never alone. We have a God that unconditionally and completely loves us just as and where we are. We live in a community with an opportunity to engage in the business of Divinity! We are empowered to bring hope, mercy, love, compassion, and acceptance into the lives of those around us. In the process we will discover God is working from the inside out to realize these dreams without our life and journey. It is an incredible opportunity to be meaningful, purposeful, and relevant to our community. It is our window for soul nurture.
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