Enough is enough, the mantra coming out of Chicago. This summer the city has been crying out and struggling with a wave of violence. Homicides in the city are up by 38% from a year ago, and shootings have increased as well. In just two weeks, 85+ have been wounded or killed in shootings. Yet, as I talk to people no one knows this. The cities of America are forgotten, so why publicize places that are considered dangerous, dark and dead? Maybe because those cities are filled with our brothers and sisters, maybe because they need help, maybe because if it was us, we would want people to know.
What is the correct response to this? Sadness. A broken heart can go a long way to spark change. When our heart breaks for the people who God broke for, your life can’t help but be different. Brokenness leads to reflection, which leads to action manifested in love. Police, policy, and pocket change have been tried over and over and yet things remain. Don’t get me wrong, those things are helpful and needed, but at the end of the day it’s the same routine.
The cities of America need love. They need people to invest for the long haul. What shaped us to be who we are and live the way we live? The perseverance of our parents or maybe a coach or a teacher. Someone in your life and someone in that person’s life. It has been generations of sacrificial love poured out. People in the cities need this generational love, they need to hear and see the hope of the Kingdom of God. Pray for Chicago. Don’t stop there; pray specifically for victims. The circumstances don’t matter as much as the people. Fight the urge to turn your nose up at the cities struggling with daily life.
God has broken our hearts for those he broke for and His love, His vision is ahead of us. Not only for St. Louis, but that churches would be planted all across the US and that women and men would dig deep and plant their roots in these precious communities and love these precious people.