The city of Wilmington, Delaware never ceases to amaze me.
I didn't see anything new during my latest trip to Wilmington to work with UrbanPromise - my third trip. Nothing groundbreaking. I tell stories about Wilmington and they sound repetitive, same old, I've-heard-this-one-before.
And maybe that is the most beautiful thing of all.
It's been 4 years since I first stumbled upon this Kingdom-community known as UrbanPromise Wilmington. And 4 years later, they're still the same passionate, world changing Jesus-lovers that inspired me and changed my life back in Grade 9.
Yes, they're moved by Christ-like compassion, hope, and love. But what makes this community different from every other spark of passionate action for social justice is their Christ-like perseverance.
When the going gets tough, it's not "Well, we tried." It's "We're gonna get through this. Together. Because we're a family. We're the Body of Christ."
Guys, I'm just gonna skip the tip-toe politically correct business and say that it's been an especially tough year for at-risk minority youth in American inner cities. The streets of America seem especially soaked with the blood of black youth this year. Race relations, black violence - this is all real stuff all the time, and maybe it's because I'm older or maybe not, but there was a new level of tension in the air this year.
And this trip was a reality check for this girl from the Canadian suburbs, let me tell you. Because there's shaking my head at the latest on CP24 from Ferguson, and then there's sitting in a room while a teenager from Wilmington says he's literally afraid to take his little brother outside sometimes.
Because there's retweeting something social-justicey, and then there's the community at UrbanPromise Wilmington that is passionately and tirelessly working together against the grain of this broken culture day in and day out.
"What's the biggest challenge facing youth in your city?"
All three of those teenagers said the exact same thing - "Violence." "Violence." "Violence."
It runs so deep. And even though the stories are same-old, may we never take lightly the absolutely heart-wrenching, world-shaking, holy Kingdom-work that the UrbanPromise community is doing with a Christ-like hope and perseverance - kids, youth, interns, and staff alike.
I think we like quick in this culture, wouldn't you say so? Quick results, quick answers, quick LTE data.
While my generation has the power to change the world with our quick advancements, what's going to kill us is our restlessness. Our inability to stick around long enough to see the really beautiful deep stuff take root. The best stuff - hope, love, reconciliation - that stuff takes time to grow.
The UrbanPromise Wilmington community has stuck around. Beauty like that doesn't just happen. It requires trust. It requires perseverance.
And I know I'm guilty of restlessness. But my week in Wilmington taught me that there is beauty in staying, because our Father knows exactly where He needs us to be -
And personally? There's no place I'd rather be.