These Are The People In Your Neighborhood.

On Thursday last week (sheesh, that's already a week ago!) I finally had the opportunity to really 'be' in my new neighborhood--the place that the Lord has sent me to 'be planted in' for this season of ministry.

John was away at camp, so in the midst of living the single mom life (God bless the single moms of the world!!!!) I was so incredibly happy to have an opportunity to meet up with some of my new neighbors - the most amazing, fabulous, Jesus-like people ever - the folks of No Boundaries International.  We are partnered with them in ministry in the Robinson Avenue area of Oklahoma City, where every form of evil abounds.  

Before I went to see the new NBI 'Hope House' down the street from our corps, I had an opportunity to prayer walk at my other neighbor's place...the Buddhist temple that's a stone's throw from our front door.  It's a huge property that's littered with countless idols and altars for offerings.  Singing 'Give Us Clean Hands' had a whole new relevance in that moment. 

Even as I walked through the dry grass outside the temple gates, my growing awareness of the godlessness that abounds within yards of our chapel pews was overwhelming and heavy.  There's a staleness in the air and a dryness in the spiritual realm that mirrors the hardened clay that sits cracked below the stained glass of our worship hall.

It's funny that on that same Thursday my {awesome} friend Jaime texted me a portion of the Book of Common Prayer selection that she read that morning...

Taking on our flesh, you have made flesh holy, Lord. Help us die to our selfish ways and our faithless habits that we might know the fullness of your new creation in our communities as it is in your resurrected body. Amen.

She didn't know, of course, that I would be walking into a home that occupies a street corner in this dry land--that has been completely gutted--primed with new paint by loving hands, new tile laid beautifully in a front room waiting to be occupied by those parched with thirst.  As I stepped in the NBI 'Hope  House' I was overhwlemed by the smell of new.  The fumes of paint and sealant were intoxicating - not in the chemical sense, but intoxicating in a spiritual sense, pointing to the new creation inside us and the new creation to come outside us.

All at once I was energized by the passion flowing through those ministering alongside us and the vision of all that God has in store.  These are the people in my neighborhood.  New creations seeking new creations.  What an amazing place to be.

They Read My Heart.

...And Then We Were There.