Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lumber Yards and Gunfire

This week I have been cleaning out clutter and packing boxes. While doing those two things I have had some moments of reminiscing over this house. I can hardly believe it has been 3.5 years since we moved in. In some ways it feels like yesterday and in someways it feels like we have been here forever.

We have gotten used to some things in the neighborhood and some things I don't think we will ever get used to and probably shouldn't. A couple of nights ago I heard gunfire as I was getting ready for bed. I don't hear it as much anymore, not sure if it is just happening less or it is like living next to train tracks, after awhile you just don't hear it anymore. I did hear it the other night and it made me think of our first night here.

We were worn out from moving but as I laid in bed that first night I could not go to sleep. I laid there wide awake being amazed at God and how much he had done in my heart to get me to this place of "rest." I was excited about our new adventure and truly felt blessed that God would allow us to be in this neighborhood to do some exciting things. It was about 3-4am when I heard the first bang. Followed by several more bangs in the next few minutes. I closed my eyes and began to pray. Was this an attack from Satan? Was I being tested for just feeling a few minutes before confident about my new surroundings and responsibilities? As I prayed I felt a sense of calm and peace wash over me and I fell asleep.

The next morning I had almost forgotten all about the gunfire when I saw my friend and neighbor Kim down the street. I walked over to ask her if she had heard the gunfire. She and her husband Nathan moved into Binghampton a couple of years before we did, so I felt sure she would give me words of comfort and reassurance. As I explained to her what I had heard and what time it was, she broke out in this big grin on her face. "Oh, I forgot to tell you, you know that lumber yard at the end of our street?" "Well, they get a delivery every day of lumber at about that time, it sounds just like gunfire." I did not know whether to laugh or cry! I asked her to please make a list of any other important items such as that one that might be beneficial to a newcomer in the hood.

Well we have come a long way from lumber yard noises. I have chased a kid down for stealing a $10 scooter (ridiculous, I know), I have been stared down by an angry grandmother who did not want her grandson in my backyard, and I have been to court to be a character witness for one of our neighbors, just to name a few.

I am glad that God gives us opportunities to laugh and learn all at the same time. I know so many people reading this probably think we are crazy and on some level we are. And even though there is not a specific scripture that says, "Go be crazy for Jesus," I believe that you find it all in the new testament. I believe that the apostle Paul yells it out to Timothy in I and II Timothy.

12Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress... I Timothy 4:11-15

So your crazy may not be my crazy. God may not call you to live in the hood, he may not call you over seas, but I do believe he calls us to be crazy. Crazy in love with him, so much so that when the world looks at the things we are doing for his glory and honor, they can clearly see the radical difference in us and it points them to the one who did the craziest thing of all and died to save us.

Be crazy today!

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