Junctures, crossroads, and detours come in the course of many fiery trials. Believers, followers of the Lord Jesus, have access to God’s strength, wisdom, and leadership to forge ahead. However, God can lead even His sheep to what seems to be a dead end.
Previous posts such as Defeat and Confusion – Lord, Press On!, Waiting on God, Praying for my Enemies, Time to Quit or Go Deeper, ‘Defeated’ but Refocused and Refreshed describe the ongoing battle in our neighborhood to save Haven Avenue from Columbia University’s plan to close it. Under the guise of a ‘pedestrian plaza’ they are aggressively forging through our neighborhood to expand their campus. At the same time outside developers won their conquest to rezone an adjacent neighborhood, with the sure result of gentrification and displacement.
But the defeat of our street, Haven Avenue stung the deepest. Over the past year, our neighbors strongly rallied together, petitioned, canvassed, and presented to the Community Board not only our opposition but the inevitable hazard and hardship street closure would bring. While we understood ‘backroom deals’, what was most grievous was the forefront of corruption, in our face. Betrayal and deceit and finally total dismissal of the community – live streamed and undeterred!
Even worse, all this at the behest of ‘an elite institute of higher learning’, one that even quotes Biblical scripture in their mottos. The expressions of triumph as they defeated us – their neighbors – revealed the lowest of morality.
SO, we conferred as a group and committed to take legal action, an appeal with the State Supreme Court as procedure allows. I myself poured into this, researching and writing, to present the case pro se. There were definite grounds to appeal. I started with such gusto, but found myself trudging through wet cement. It became evident that, without an attorney, at $15,000+, we were surely jumping into a pool of sharks. Their team of lawyers would happily eat us for lunch.
I have now conceded that it’s over…at least my part. I believe I’ve come to a dead end.
The Lord answered our prayers for our neighbors – we now know them enough to share our faith and pray for them. He led us into a battle and girded us to stand and present the truth, exposing shameful and corrupt tactics, calling us to pray – not just for our victory but moreso for the depraved morality of those before us.
I believe we have run as far as we are able under God’s guidance. Like King Jehoshaphat we cry, “O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
The ‘next step’ is sometimes the hardest….”Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.”
Yes Lord, keep my lamp burning…..