It’s while I’m sitting across from a friend that I look out the front window and see Tony on the sidewalk across the street walking slow with one of the kids from the mission. He’s one of the first kids I ever met in those early days – one of the first to welcome this family so obviously not from this area.
We’ve entered into our third year here and three years deepen voices and grows up inches and three years hardens tender hearts who witness so much pain.
We’ve watched it happen to him – this kid who stands on the edges of being a man – who feels lost on these edges and hides his hurt with anger.
I get it.
I’ve done it too.
So while my friend sips her coffee, I watch Tony walk the permiter of the field outside our window – this wide open space in the middle of the ghetto and I think of Jericho and those walls…high and strong walls and the slow and patient walk of those many feet.
I know the edges of my man – I recognize the way his head bends as he listens, the steady rythym of his steps as he stands strong beside the boy lost who is grasping for something sure. Hands in his pockets, I know he is praying and I know that as they walk that perimeter, God is doing something unseen.
Last night, we lit the second candle and spoke of Peace – of the Prince of Peace. We read of Abraham and Isaac and a father’s love and the hints of the coming Messiah. We listen and sing of Emmanuel and our hearts long for His coming as we circle the perimeter of this life we are given day after day, step by step.
Faith – it propels us forward…it keeps us circling the Jericho in front of us. Whether it’s an angry kid or an unsteady future or a restlessness that won’t go away. Faith propels, but trust in the goodness of the God who has called us keeps us in motion. It’s a knowing that it isn’t my footsteps that will bring down these walls, but the very hand of God. It isn’t my will that keeps me walking, but it is the presence of Jesus – the very One Who is Peace that keeps my heart steady.
So these days grow darker, but these candles, one by one, grow brighter, and like the slow and steady walk of those praying down walls we keeping moving forward, keep pressing into the One Who is with us in all the broken mess.