Ripe for Redemption
I picked up the kiddos from their amazing school in the wealthy, sheltered part of town. The magnificent building, the pristine landscaping, the haven that the school and church property is… This place has been a great blessing in our lives.
When I drive through its parking lot dotted with gorgeous red maples, it seems surreal that when these kids were first born we welcomed them into a church family that met in a building with crumbling walls and a roof that leaked every time it rained, all surrounded by some of the worst poverty in America.
That poverty stricken area was home.
And I loved the beautiful ugly it held.
And now, as I pick the kids up, we head downtown. Down to our soon-to-be new home on Maywood Avenue.
And I know I will grow to love this place, but the stark contrast from what I just picked my kids up from, and the place where I was driving them into…well, it was just abrupt.
And I’m going to bring my babies here? And raise them in beautiful ugly again? A beautiful ugly that is still just ugly to me?
The toxic fear creeps into my heart. There’s six of them now! And life isn’t as simple as it was when I just had three little ducklings that stayed close to mamma duck.
Now that 3 year old boy is nine, and wants to ride bikes in the neighborhood and play football with the kids down the street…
Kids who curse and who have been exposed to who-knows-what in their homes. But they are kids who need to know the steadfast love of a God who has endured far more tumult than they have in those homes. They need to meet a God who went to the cross in order to rescue them from the generations of sin and struggle that they were born into. My kids, too, have been born into generational curses that I constantly have to repent of, and run to the cross with…and doesn’t that put us all in the same boat?
….We pull into the driveway and before I go in to meet with contractors working hard to make that little home livable for a family of eight, I set the kids up with a picnic in the yard….a yard, with trees.
We are about to start a church in the inner city, and my kids still get to grow up with a yard and trees and forts in bushes and tire swings and crickets singing at night.
And if God can move me into the desires of my heart-to live amongst, and pour into the marginalized of society, and live fully for and pour into the children God has entrusted to me and He can provide a yard for those kids, then I’m sure He can provide everything else they need as well.
And I will cling to and live by the promises that “my God will fully supply your every need according to his glorious riches in the Messiah Jesus” (Phil. 4:19 )…and that includes the wisdom to navigate the raising of these kids in the neighborhood God has called us to.