“I’m going on a walk,” I told Stephen two weeks ago.
“Yeah?” he replied.
“Yeah. I’ve been trying to hear God’s voice more clearly lately and I thought maybe He said to go on a walk at about five o’clock. I don’t know if He did, but I might as well give it a shot.”
The tactic that day was to respond to the first thought that popped into my head if it sounded like it could be God. I was unsure if it was, but I thought I had heard Him say something that morning. It was kind of like an instant answer. They were thought answers that popped into my head almost before I even finished my thought questions.
So I figured I’d test it out. I walked out the door and I think I heard another instant thought telling me to go the other way.
But I didn’t. I drove through the other way all the time. I was familiar with that area. If I walked the way I was about to walk I would see things I wasn’t familiar with. I was going on a 5:00 walk still, did it matter which way?
I walked a few blocks down and didn’t really feel like anything spiritual was happening. I did notice, however, that all of the houses were getting strangely good looking for Jackson. And then they turned into what might qualify as Jackson mansions—right outside of a fairly broken down area of Jackson.
Then I turned around and walked back to the church. I was caught off guard by the houses and they stuck in my head, but that was about it.
Today I tried the same thing. I was sitting in my office trying to find something to do when I decided to see if I could hear God’s voice. “Go on a walk” seemed like another instant answer so I decided to give it a shot. However, I wasn’t thinking too much about it, because now it just seemed as though “go on a walk” was just something I was making up. This was the second time it had come to my mind.
So I walked out of the church and down the road the other way towards the Interfaith Homeless Shelter. I had planned on meeting with one of the leaders over there anyways about some things, so it seemed like a good idea.
As I walked there, my perspective on the neighborhood changed. I thought I knew it well, but now I was noticing much more. People had nice cars, but their houses were falling apart. Kids were out on the street hanging out with their families and friends. Many were sitting on their porches. And at times I wondered if groups were going to point me out and yell at me for no reason as I walked by.
Then I neared the homeless shelter right around 5:00. I was shocked to see how busy it was as their doors had just opened to the community for dinner. I had never seen the homeless shelter outside of a Sunday morning before and I was amazed.
“The church I just become pastor of is only 2 blocks away from this broken neighborhood?” I thought to myself.
Soon I felt that it was very important that I had gone on a walk to see all of that—perhaps even set up by God so that I would be in that area at the very time the shelter was filled with so many people.
I think I need to go on these walks on a regular basis for awhile so that God can truly show me the importance of doing ministry in this area.
All of this also reminded me of a movie I watched a few years back that was surprisingly good for a Christian movie. And on top of that it starred Michael W. Smith! I would like to watch it tonight…
The trailer seems a little cheesy but it really actually is good. Trust me, I’m one of the first people to call Christian things out on their cheesiness. Though Rotten Tomatoes would disagree with me. But then again, they’re always so critical aren’t they? (Ba dum tsh!)
On another note, I ran into an older man who was very friendly. He sits on his porch and watches animals prance through the cemetery. Today’s animal was a deer. And get this—the dude has seen turkeys and even wild pigs in there too! I think I need to join him and watch it. He told me he’s waiting to see if he can find a cow and if he does, he said he was going to keep it.
I like that guy.