Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NYCUP Update Letter: Holy Crap!

30 March 2010
Holy Tuesday.

I'm not really sure what Jesus did on like Monday-Wed of Holy Week... Nor can I keep my eyes open and support my neck long enough to look into it tonight for how pooped I am (in more ways than one--more later). Nor am I still convinced that I have to cleverly contrive these letters and reflections to correspond to the historical Passion Week. What I do know's that during this week He was on the move and did a whole bunch of really intentional stuff, the glory and meaning of which would be revealed by the weekend... Similarly, God is on the move here and preparing me for this weekend too. I cannot believe how much we've done and learned, but even more incredible is how much God is doing in my heart and in this community... I don't how to begin so I'll try beginning from the beginning of the Plunge.

Beginning Saturday, Jonathan Walton, director of NYCUP, challenged us in all our proceedings especially in foreign situations to respond, as Jesus did, rather than merely reacting. In so doing, whether we share a sack lunch and a story with a homeless woman in Grand Central, or rebuke the man outside the 125th Street methadone clinic who leered at our girls, we bear witness to Christ Jesus, whose every doing was covered by grace, whose every word was true and laced with life. As such, we began each morning at 7:30AM in prayer and in the Word to draw nearer to the heart of Jesus. We are challenged by the many new situations we encounter to also to pray forward in anticipation; proactively and responsive, not just reactively.

How can I appropriately respond to encounters in this impoverished neighborhood? With the children who innocuously told me of their envy "because Chino food is mad good," and who re-laced my hi tops because apparently my Chucks were "not hood enough" for their liking. Or even with Harv and Robyn Bowman--the sweet whitest most mid-western couple who followed the call of God from their Ohio farms with JUMP Ministries to South Bronx. Here lies the poorest urban congregational district in the United States, yet it is situated less than a mile from the richest: Upper East Side. The challenges these people face, and what it means for them to pick up their cross to follow Christ, seem to find no root in my own experience of being raised in Naperville.

With what credibility could I respond? Pray for me as I am learning that truly, I represent not myself, not flesh and blood. The witness I bear is not of my world. Rather, I walk as a child of my Father, a daughter of the King, and so I—we—represent the Kingdom of God. And that comes with a whole different authority.

The sewage pump in the basement's utility closet which we call "the darkness" has been out of commission for at least two years, and the basement runneth over. But the neighborhood kids still sneak their way in for a place to play. They call it "turd surfing." Okay I'm seriously exhausted from squatting in the closet and scooping poop at the church all day. Too much so to even give you some words to lessen the weirdness of the image you must have... Ah... I didn't even say half of what I want to share... But sleep for tonight, to rise early tomorrow, and work, that the children might have a clean and safe space to play and to stay a child if only for another day. But more importantly, as the Lord purged the temple on that Monday, that 1800 Grand Concourse would be reclaimed from its filth to be a house of prayer, set apart.

Good night,


- the necessity of ... - "you guys need a hand? i like to keep busy you know, helps keep me away from the wrong people whie i get clean"
- "this church was a gem... you wouldn't know it now but that bell used to chime every sunday"
- there is a river of sewage... how do you react? jump in/save. go to the village and mobilize. engineer a damn. we need all those but ultimately any sustained response requires going to the SOURCE of living water. how else could i be so close to filth for any extended season unless i abide in him?
- you walk in victory esther, not just toward it.
- leave your messiah syndrome at his feet! you can be his hands, follow his beautiful-news-bearing-dirty feet, you can speak his words... but you can never replace him so abide in him!
- mighty to save / my glorious
- shock @ D from feed500 grand central... lord it is mercy that you are jealous for my heart thank you

No comments:

Post a Comment