Nate and I have heard from God on the issues of racism, poverty, injustice, segregation in the church; on the need to partner with other churches locally, build relationships, listen (and listen and listen!) and learn from others who are different from us. We have been hearing things like this for what seems like half a lifetime now, and what we are hearing has lately been getting louder.
We are waiting for further instructions.
Right now, my instructions are to wait, keep listening- listening to God and seeking out the right people to listen to- and pray. God gave me a picture that might be kind of gross to anyone who hasn’t had a child, men particularly, so censor yourself if you want to: It was that prayer is going to cause a softening, like a woman’s cervix when her body is preparing for labor, that will enable us to break through when it is time to act when He gives us further instructions.
Normally, I fear times of waiting because they can turn into times of nothing ever happening. Times of dissipation. I loathe times of waiting because they can be a cover up for laziness or fear of failure- both of which are dream killers.
But this time of waiting has been different. It has been active. It has been focusing and building instead of dissipating. It has been encouraging and envisioning. In the waiting, I have not stopped hearing more and more from the Lord, and getting continuous confirmation through friends, circumstances, and the education we are continually pursuing.
Nate and I have committed to praying regularly about these issues that God has brought to our attention again and again in our life. I’m afraid- that I won’t follow through, that I will forget to pray, that my passion will dissipate, that other things will take the forefront in my life. All of these are legitimate fears, and yet He keeps telling me when I am afraid that this is HIS thing. HIS heart is for a diverse people, for justice, for the fatherless and orphan and widow, for the hungry and the oppressed and the imprisoned. HIS heart is to free us of our segregation- starting with the church- starting here in Chicago, a great and segregated city- and HE is going to do it!
I am dreaming and full of ideas. The Lord knows I have no shortage of ideas. But I think what He wants me to get out of the waiting is the humility needed to go forward in this precious area of His kingdom. My ideas are not the great answers, and He doesn’t need me to solve a problem. Right now, He just needs me to wait for further instructions.