We have given away bags of clothing, furniture, baby items and trinkets we no longer absolutely need. I never thought that at 26, with two kids I would be downsizing and moving into LA. Then again, most of my adventures with Cameron have been unexpected. Cameron and I were both challenged and touched at the story of Francis Chan & his wife downsizing (with 4 kids!) and opening their home to those who don't have much. For some reason, it just made sense to us. You know, in that Holy Spirit could only impress that on your heart sort of way. We don't know exactly where we'll land in LA, that's still up in the air (my hope: Silver Lake :)), but we're praying for a home to welcome people and to have relationships with anyone who comes through the door. The prodigious and organized housing tracks of Orange County sort of give me the creeps. I think the constant noise and distress of a city makes more sense. When I see us in the city, I see our home emitting warmth, glowing out from it into a busy, dark Los Angeles. A place where we are based and where Jesus is the King. Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware of the stress and hardship involved. I also don't think that the Brewers are going to "save" Los Angeles, or even a block of Boyle Heights. What I do know for sure is that Jesus is a transforming power and we're just one more little bit of the body at a church that is going into the city and loving them like they've never seen before.
I just read that only 25% of young people in America are actively involved in church and I'm proud to say that most of our church is young people. Not just in the pews either. They are ushers, parking cars, holding our children, praying with people and giving out information for community groups. These are the same people that meet voluntarily at a local children's hospital to pray for young girl who has cancer. These are no slackers, they are not apathetic, they are a living and active body of Christ in a city that many never consider a real place for a mission. They have a powerful love and desire for Christ that translates into a deep love for people. We've found our home here in an odd series of events that could only be divine.
I know it's confusing to a few of you, but God works like that. Not always appealing to our good sense. Sometimes He tells you to march around the walls with horns, sometimes He tells you to stay with your fiance who is knocked up but you had nothing to do with it (because she's carrying the Messiah) and sometimes He rubs mud in your eyes to make you see. Sometimes He tells you to downsize, get out of the suburbs and to get kicked in the butt daily for Him.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5