Common, Not Normal
There are a few things that I cannot (normally) handle: vomit and blood.
Yet, last Thursday I cleaned both off the floor in an apartment where a stray bullet pierced one of our first floor windows and grazed one of our beautiful 12 year old girls in her bedroom.
It was an incident if I’m honest I hesitated to share. Hope Street prides itself on being a safe place for men, women and children to grow. In an instant a bullet threatened that reality and quite frankly left me angry. It made me angry because for some it confirms their worst fears, it stripped a little girl of her peace and for others it didn’t mean a thing...it’s the hood, it’s what happens. BUT just because it happens doesn’t mean we have to accept it. That’s why Hope Street is there. To say common doesn’t mean best, and it for sure doesn’t mean normal.
In the midst of my anger, I’m still able to be thankful. Thankful no one was more severely hurt, thankful windows can easily be replaced, thankful for detectives who work tirelessly to make our streets safe, thankful for a community of people (YOU) who join us in prayer in the moments we need it most.
Father, may your peace reign in our hearts, minds and bodies. Remind us of what is true, don’t let us settle for anything less. Keep us in your will and guide us down the right path. Thanks for being a God who can handle all of our emotions. Help us to feel the things we need to feel. To wrestle with commonalities and not settle for anything less than what you intended for your creation. Kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Nothing less, we long for it.
Lastly, that sweet girl said, “I feel safe in this building, but I don’t feel safe in this neighborhood” - my prayer is that would change. Everyone deserves to feel safe. We owe it to our members to do what we can to restore our neighborhood. We owe it to our neighbors, and we owe it to our King. We owe it to our own humanity to let Him do as he sees fit with us. We are his body. He is our head, and as such we share his heart for the restoration of all things. That includes little girls that are accidentally shot, as well as whoever shot her. We will continue to be present, love well and share His truth.