In Time to Quit or Go Deeper , a looming social and political threat hung over our neighborhood at large. The same villainous City Councilman who championed Columbia University’s takeover of our street, now spearheaded a major rezoning of the neighborhood at large, opening floodgates of opportunities to big developers and real estate moguls. Without exception, ‘rezoning’ = ‘gentrification’ in NYC, always resulting in the eventual displacement of thousands.
Yesterday, August 8th, I joined a large gathering at City Hall, planning to attend this fateful public vote but found we were all shut out. Nonetheless we stayed and voiced our opposition on the steps of City Hall.
The City Council was well aware of the residents’ vehement objection to this pervasive plan. None the less, they voted 43-1 in favor. Even Councilmen who previously expressed objection changed their vote.
If pressing in with the Lord, going deeper, results in such a devastating defeat, why bother? Because the ‘issue at hand’ is usually not God’s focus. I prayed for my neighbors, whom I hardly knew and found myself alongside them in battle. Personally, I do not subscribe to the ‘social gospel’ or ‘felt needs gospel’ and never believe, ‘together we can change the world!’ But as our hearts were charged with the issues at hand, the Lord did a work that eluded me for all these years living here. I came to know and love my neighbors, enabling me to care and truly pray for them.
Going deeper into fellowship with the Lord, through worship, prayer and His word, will not guarantee any worldly victory. But a sincere heart, determined to meet with sovereign God, will hear from Him. All else becomes inconsequential in His presence as His word brings clarity, light, and understanding. Moreover, as we present ‘our heart’s desires’ to Him, the Lord may refocus and redirect us to His desires, His focus, and His plan. He is, after all, our Commanding Officer.
Amid the earthly defeat – and there will be many more and worse in these last days – there is one sign that I will never stop ‘carrying’. I posted it in my young brother’s hospital room. Soon, nurses and attendants were taking photos of it to share with those who suffer.
My brother died in that room, but the sign is still here…
May we, as the Body of Christ, lock arms and go deeper – not into the world but into His presence.
Still praying for my neighbors……