I sat at the coffee shop for two hours last night. They closed at 9. Still in need of space, I walked Loring Park, loitered on the walking bridge, and sat for a time on a concrete slab near the Walker Art Center – praying over Minneapolis and our part in this big city.
Having grown up in the corn fields of Indiana, I don’t know that I ever imagined living in the urban space. I suppose I don’t often imagine much of what lies years down the road, so maybe that means little. I think Youth Encounter had a part in prepping me for this time (six years now) in The Cities. During my time with them, I walked the streets of many heavily populated cities around the world — Lagos, Mumbai, Delhi, Manila, Hong Kong, to name a few. As much as I tense and ache for the open, I know there is great need for the work of God to be done in this place. Tim Keller often gives great perspective on mission to the city.
In cities you have more image of God per square inch than anywhere else on Earth ~ Tim Keller
— Alan Hirsch (@alanhirsch) April 15, 2014
It's true that we must bring the gospel to the city. But we should also recognize how much the city brings the gospel to us.
— Timothy Keller (@timkellernyc) July 8, 2015
Flesh and blood lie 'neath the stone and steel – and a whisper 'neath the noise.
— Ua Vandercar (@UaMV) September 26, 2015
I must admit, I have not engaged our community as I ought. I have not fellowshipped with our neighbor to any great degree. I’ve failed to be faithful to the calling in numerous ways, I am sure. God forgive me. And move. Move in us that we might sense your every gentle nudge to move for you. Calm our heart. Keep our minds clear, our motives pure, and our strength from waning. Let us give ourselves over to Your will and the work of Your kingdom. For the glory of Your Holy Name. Amen.
I have often thought we don’t minister enough in the cities. At the same time, street corner preachers are a dime a dozen. do we need any more of those? I don’t know.
What I would LOVE is an ability to see a need of someone, and just do it for them. maybe in silence even, that would be cool. What I have found so far is, most people that need something, but its not an emergency, simply don’t ask. and the ones that ask for stuff (that are not emergencies) almost seem too professional at it, like they have “figured it out”. That might just be an assumption, btw. But none the less, how can we figure out who needs what? We could ask people, even poor people on the street.. “hey, do you know someone I could help with something? I have resources”… That would take gumption, but it might pan out sometimes. And, like running, things get into habits.. perhaps if I did this (instead of talking about it.. sigh) every friday lets say, I would get better at it, and it would get into a habit. hmm.
Unconditional commitment to others rather than to ourselves. Intentionality in our relationship and interactions. Attentiveness to the Spirit’s nudging each day. Let’s pray toward these things.
Oh, and, if by “street corner preachers” you mean one who will speak words of truth by actions of love into the public space, then let us all aim to minister as such.