I was standing in my new neighborhood today. There was no one around, just Angie and I wandering lost through an empty parking lot. And I was thrilled. For her birthday, I got Angie tickets to see "Little Women" at The Flint Youth Theater. It was wonderful. I was genuinely moved when... well, I don't want to ruin for those who have never read it.
Anyways. I was there in this small theater, holding a schedule of the Flint Symphony Orchestra, meeting everyone in my section and being amazed at the connections that existed. How George and Mary were from the thumb. How young Rasheed has patrolled the area for a year and has never seen the inside of The Whiting. How the young actresses who performed learned to act and sing right here in downtown Flint.
It makes me aware of the variety of people within 2 miles of our new home. There is the Culture District. The Sloan, the Institute of Art, the Library, The Whiting and the Planetarium. All right here. Movers and shakers from all around drive into my neighborhood to taste art. And thankfully, I love this world. I cannot wait to enter in and walk amongst this world. To meet many and see what doors God will open for His kingdom.
There are the colleges. The University of Michigan with over 7,000 students. True, it is a commuter college. But the International Students are often the ones who live on campus, and they are in this country with very little contacts. Most international students never set foot in an American's home. Welp, Angie and I hope to have a big kitchen, and I like wearing aprons, so we are going to open our home to the entire world from this neighborhood.
Then there is the state streets. This is where I grew up for many years of my childhood. Of the 11 murders in Flint last month, 4 happened here. This is a dangerous and hopeless area. A bunch of fatherless kids murdering other fatherless kids, with women and children getting caught in the crossfire. I want to walk these streets, and meet these kids, and see what needs can be met. It is true that silver and gold I have none. But what I do have, I will give. Time. Love. Friendship.
It is my prayers that Flint City Church will be a church that allows all these groups to come together. That we would not be separated by race, by class, by history. Many books I read say to focus on one "tribe." They say that people don't mix... they have no common ground. But I think Christ makes us one big dysfunctional family. I am pumped to add some crazy uncles and overbearing aunts. I am pumped to be a big brother and a beloved son.
A church like this... I have never seen it. Not really. But it is what I see when I read of heaven. And as the man said, "thy kingdom come, on earth, as it is in heaven."