Re-writing Stories

10289840_10154114679630004_4853436625900525095_nI woke up in the middle of the night. Red and blue lights shone through my window. I got out of bed, put on some street clothes and made my way to the front of the house. Out front, 12 police cars and ambulance and a fire truck were packing the one block on which I live.
Most of the neighbors were out front, seeking to get information about what was going on. I made my way to a group of women who had huddled together. ‘What better time then the present to meet the neighbors’, I thought to myself.
As I made my way to join the women I was greeted by one of the boys who lived next door. He was very troubled and muttered a few cries for help as we passed one another.
There was a drug bust on my street. From what I’ve gathered, there was a meth lab in a house four down from mine.
Four people were arrested, each person arrested was a parent, and the children were left out front, after midnight, awaiting the arrival of help as they watched their parents taken away.
I asked if help was needed, but nothing, and so I headed inside where I prayed and asked God to protect the children and change the story of this block.
I stayed awake for some time wrestling with how I was to respond and if I needed to go insert myself to help these young ones. I listened to make sure all was taken care of and heard that grandparents were on their way. I struggled, “Lord I know you are Savior and it’s not mine to save, but how am I to respond? Am I supposed to simply wait or is there more.” I prayed and waited.
The next day a third couple packed up their belongings and moved. The block was shifting.
I asked the Lord how I was to respond and for him to rewrite the story of my block. I prayed that God would remove evil and bring new life.
Two days later I had a young woman in town from Moraga and the two of us spent the day baking cookies. It was my intention to begin again on the block and help to rewrite the story of this little stretch of land. My friend and I delivered 22 packages of cookies and in doing so we brought blessing and kindness and generosity.
Since that time, I have had neighbors stop by and visit. I’ve made friends with my neighbors directly next door. I have been able to pray with other neighbors and I am seeing a good shift take place. I continue to pray for my street. I pray that God will write a story of life and good and peace. I pray that God will invite those who live on my block of South Downing will collide with the goodness of Jesus and that He will awaken them to His way of grace, connectedness, beauty and love.
Every life, every home, every school, work place, church building, and city block hold a story and you and I, who are children of a very good King, have the opportunity to bring blessing to these places. We have the ability to walk into a place and know that God has a story of good and life that He wants to write for each place and person and we get to share in that story.
As I brought cookies to my neighbors I was tempted to think it was foolish and frivolous. But, God showed me that kindness is a great starting point when writing a good story.
Jesus came to give. We too have the opportunity in whatever space we are in, to go and give… to rewrite the story, shift a culture or see new life spring up.
I’m excited to see where my block will be in a year from now. I am curious what story it will then tell. I pray that in the places in your life where you know hardship, conflict or judgment that you will ask God to show you how you might be a part of writing a new story and that you would listen and respond.

One thought on “Re-writing Stories

  1. Another great story…worthy of reading to the end! You are so gifted and I am thankful for your obedience to God in sharing that gift. You provoke and challenge in us to see life in a different way. You also encourage readers to make a change from “spectator” of life to taking action/engaging where God places us.
    Smiling!…so what kind of cookies were those?!!

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