I've been thinking a lot about cities recently. My city. American cities. Global cities. For the past year, God has been growing in me a heart for "the city", but I haven't really understood what it meant or how it translated into my life and sphere of influence. Sunday morning I was reading Hebrews when this verse seemed to jump off the pages and into my heart and I've been thinking about these words since...
"For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come."
If these words are true, and I believe they are, then my heart and efforts for "the city" cannot be in and of themselves for "the city" alone. Some day, the city will crumble. It's buildings will topple and what we do for our cities alone will not last...unless they are done with hearts set on the purposes of God and making His name and not our own and not the name on the map, great.
In these days I am asking God for a sincere brokeness for this city I currently call home. To be honest, at this point I am not broken for this place, but desire to be. I am keenly aware that I am here for a reason and that reason is ultimately to bring Him glory and radiate his life signaling Light into the darkness - a peculiar darkness that I myself feel and has caused many people to believe it is, perhaps, a lost cause. Just like no person is too far from God, I also believe no city is either. We don't need "saviors" to come into our cities and try to "fix" them. No, we need passionate dreamers and leaders who know what it means to be restored and set free by God's grace and are intimately acquainted with God's heart and desires for his people. We need people to love our cities in tangible ways. People who no longer merely talk about the state of the places we call home, but walk out what they believe in ways that not only change people's lives, but change their hearts. I think I want to be one of those people.
I have struggled and fought it, but I have finally come to a place of peace about being here and believe I am in Montgomery for this season for a purpose beyond my comprehension. And though I know this place, or any place for that matter, will never be completely free of poverty, loneliness, political corruption, violence etc. I believe our cities will rise when we invest into the lives of individual people in them -- it is then that we will all catch a better glimpse of the city that is to come.