Finally - a picture of Demetrius Jamal Reynolds!
One of my husbands favorite things to say is, "We didn't come to save this neighborhood; in fact, this neighborhood is saving us." I've always felt like I understood what he meant by that, it's also been a tough pill to swallow. Because it means that we are weak. It means that we don't have all the "answers" and in fact, we have brought 6 more sinners to this neighborhood!! There are MANY ways that this way of life is "saving" us, and realizing this has been a little difficult. I honestly have felt so EXPOSED for who I really am.
Now at this point, some of you are thinking things like, "Yeah, but, I could NEVER do what you do! It's amazing!" "You and your family are Christian super-heros!" It sounds ridiculous, but I have actually heard people say it. several times. The problem is, it's just not true. We are Christians, saved by Jesus, who still need A LOT of sanctification! Choosing this path has been very revealing of the true condition of my heart, and I feel as though the Lord want me to share some of the ways He has broken me.
So the biggest issue of my heart has been an exposed lack of love for people. I've always been called tender-hearted and compassionate. So I think I really believed that I loved people. Honestly it was easy to believe that I loved people, because I hadn't been faced with loving people as a PRIORITY second only to my love for God. He really wants us to be "neighbors" to people that aren't very lovable, or simply seem to be too many to love. And to make it even harder, He doesn't want us to just be "casserole" neighbors (not knocking a good casserole!), but he want us to be "i'll walk through all your crap with you" kind of neighbors. NOW THAT IS HARD! It also means that we can't just see people on Sundays (like I like to believe) and have the same kind of impact that doing life with them though out the week can bring. SO what's my problem? People are MESSY and they break things! I will have to work harder because I've had them in my home. People are complicated, and it takes TIME to figure out relationships - time I just don't want to give. CAN YOU SEE THE IDOLS IN MY HEART?!?!
But God has been amazing to me. He has revealed all this in my heart and is slowly changing me. I am under MUCH conviction of the Holy Spirit, in ways I never had before. I have been encouraged by some amazing preaching that has shed even more light on these precious idols of my heart. But I am most amazed at GOD'S love for people and I want to obey and follow Jesus in how he wants us to do this. Most importantly, He is showing me the big picture of His kingdom - made up of the soul's of men and women - and it is going to take everything I've got to play my role as His ambassador. His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in my weakness! Praise HIM!