as i look out my window of my newly inhabited office (for about two months now) i see an empty parking lot, with pristine white lines marking spaces for cars to park. i see trees that are changing hues as i type. from green to red and orange and various shades in between. the road beyond is slightly sloped with patches of tar, a repaired reminder of the cracks now covered up. and to the left, a basketball hoop with a busted rim, angling towards the asphalt below. and a frayed net taboot.
to the houses across the street, what do they see when they look out their bay windows? what are we? how are we perceived? are we mere bricks and mortar? a parking lot and a building? an eyesore in the midst of a residential area? a business that becomes an inconvenience on the weekend? with the cars and the traffic that appear? a church that is concerned about its own, yet can't fix the basketball hoop so that neighborhood kids can play?
on this afternoon of inactivity i can't help but wonder what we are. where we stand. how we are seen - if even at all.
a mail truck now appears on the street. the mail man delivers mail to each residence, proof of their existence, even though we don't know them. he knows their names. we do not.
this is our picture. we are the church. we have good intentions. we love Jesus. but we are not capitalizing on the opportunity that may very well be right outside our windows. Lord, give us eyes to see, not mere projects, but people. people who need you and who want to encounter you, even if they've yet to realize it...
perhaps even in the littlest of things.. may we go and be Jesus, not to the world, but first to our street. through fixed basketball hoops and outstretched hands of generosity and hospitality.