I listened to Irwin McManus' New Years Eve sermon and his theme was "A Crazy Idea". It was awesome. He talked about befriending someone in 2007 that you typically woulnd't want as a friend. I gave a talk Wednesday night at a friend's church and the theme was "Kingdom of God, Upside-Down Economy, Doing Violence". Wednesday night, after we'd returned home, a young girl from the rental house across the street from us came to our door to borrow a chair to use for a game of cards they were starting. The group that lives there are very young (early 20's), on probation for drinking/drug related offenses (inside information from an employee at our office that use to hang with them), and have some low-key parties but other than that are pretty good neighbors so far. The police have been there a couple times but only once involving a resident of the home and they left without incident so apparently they didn't have much to go on after searching his car and checking him out. The other time was to remove a beligerent family member of one of the resident's.
That was background information. So my wife and I were talking last night after Mike, a resident of the rental, brought back the chair and apologized for not getting it back quicker. I've always been a real wuss when it comes to water. I know how to swim but have hated it all my life. I've never been one of those people that running screaming into the water. I take it slow and easy and hate every excruciating inch as it creeps up my body chilling me to my marrow. Even on hot days I will not go in until my kids are begging me. Once in I get accustomed to it I tolerate it but only find joy in the joy that my children have in the water, none for me thanks. I've been that way with Mike, just easing into the water one painful step at a time. I think its time for me to free the spirit within me to do work on his terms.
Our first impressions weren't so great. Mike had a party that got a little out of hand. I heard one of his guests, through an open window in our bedroom, propositioning my wife at the top of his lungs from the porch across the street. It didn't offend my wife, she was snoring, but it really flamed me up and I went charging over there and told them that I didn't have a problem with them partying but that they should keep their filthy words on their side of the street. Mike was apologetic but his buddy that was doing all the talking was pretty beligerent. It ended okay, he didn't really want to come off the porch very bad and risk the cops coming and I wasn't about to go onto the porch, wearing pajama pants, with all four of the guys on the porch, but it was tough to go to sleep after that adrenaline charge. Not very Christianlike but very much me.
Anyway, I've really been convicted about this guy, Mike, (he grew up down the road from the kid that works with us. They were buddies until Mike and his dad accused this guy I work with for stealing 3 lbs. of marijuana from them)when I was making pumpkin pies with the kids (annual thing because I like the fresh stuff, no canned pumpkin pies for me) I made one and took it over to them. It opened communication and they made cookies and brought them to us just before Thanksgiving. Then the chair thing last night. As I talked to my wife about the scriptures I'd used in my sermon on Wednesday my heart was moved to dive in with this guy. I believe those kids are really trying to make it. They all have jobs, not good ones but they are working everyday and not sitting around playing video games. They don't get much contact with their parents, very rarely have I seen anyone stop in to visit even for a short time. They are there on Holidays, a little family in themselves. I think I'm going to go over and open myself, humbly let Mike know that it sure looks like they are trying hard and that its tough starting out these days. Let them know that I've been praying for their success and for Christ to bless them. Maybe I'll get a chance to ask them what they think about Jesus. I'm not going to shove it down their throat though. Just humility and Love. I know that opens the door for the Holy Spirit to do violence to Satan. Worst case scenario they laugh at me and make fun of me for my King. I think Jesus can handle that and I think he knows I can too.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax