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.