Posted by: molly | October 5, 2012

God Loves Sedgefield

Jesus loves cities.  And city people.  And city churches. And urban hipsters (since that is what all city people are–or so I thought before spending some in a city) that go to city churches.

Growing up I had a very different view of cities.  Cities were God-forsaken, traffic ridden, over-grown towns that only produced drugs, gangs, and random acts of violence.  Any self-respecting middle-class American Christian would not venture into a city (except for an occasional blitzkrieg type of evangelical campaign) because with proper money management he could afford a modest home in the suburbs.  As he continued to use his strong Protestent work ethic to get better jobs, he could eventually afford an even bigger home in the suburbs so his wife could host other suburban wives without feeling ashamed and his kids can go to the highest performing public schools in the area.

I was a suburbanite and I hated it.   I vowed in high school that I was going to move to a city or the country.  Just never to a housing development.  Ever.

When my then boyfriend (now husband) came to me with a vision of urban church planting (coupled with some teaching on the true nature of cities, which by the way are not really that scary usually) I was in.  And then God literally gave me a house in a housing development named Sedgefield–the very house I lived in during high school, when I vowed never to live in the suburbs…

God not only has a sense of ironic humor, but has been teaching me an important lesson:  loving people where you are hurts.  It means you don’t just love lost people who live in far off Eastern European countries or in some city that you will one day live in–it means you love the guy who lives in the apartment upstairs and plays guitar hero at 2 in the morning.  It means you love the people next door seem to think it is a chore to wave to you when they see you in your adjoining backyards.  It means loving the people who leave their trash can in front of your house and have dogs who bark all through the night.

A few months ago I gave my husband a passionate plea to leave our rent-free suburban home to move into a less affluent neighborhood on the other side of town.  My husband loving turned my foolish plea down and encouraged me to embrace the neighborhood that God has placed me in to minister.  Since that time God has opened up several doors to love my neighbors.  Loving my neighbors can be many different things.  It can be listening to the lonely lady across the street tell me about the death of her dog that used to keep her company when alone at night.  It can be brining a gift the the neighbors with a new baby–neighbors who seemed shocked that I would even think to visit them!  It can be scheming to start a bridge club with an older Long Islander I met through my son’s school who doesn’t fit in with her southern neighbors.  Loving your neighbors isn’t usually epic.  It is the collection of small acts that show them the love of God in you.

I look forward to one day living in a city full of city people and city churches.  However, it has taken me a couple of years to realize that God has put me in a housing development because he doesn’t just love cities–God also loves Sedgefield.

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Responses

  1. Beautiful … thank you for posting!

  2. Excellent. You are very thoughtful. Love reading Songs of Moses!
    Mother

  3. Thanks for sharing! You are an inspiration. Love, Mother


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