I just finished reading a book on hope; a book that challenged me and excited me about what is ahead. In the last chapter of the book Isaiah 65:17-24 is referenced; its an incredible passage where Isaiah describes what God was to do with their community, Jerusalem.
From this point the author of the book goes on to talk about what he sees in his community and as he writes I felt challenged again about how we view our communities, what we often speak over them and how we needed to change the language. So, in obedience here is what I see in my community;
I see a community where people walk with their heads held high, no longer worried and focused on what has gone behind them but excited and expectant about what’s ahead.
I see families growing up rooted in love, in a haven of security and support; homes where violence and abuse know no place; homes which choose to endure and grow in love rather than trade it all in for the next new thing. Homes where mothers and fathers feel confident to be who they are and raise children filled with wonder and hope. Children who grow up knowing the full love of their parents and the full, wide, unconditional love of a God who desires them deeply.
These children are free from the insecurity and trauma passed on from a broken generation who had it passed from a broken generation. These are children who grow up knowing trust as a first reaction and not something they need to fight for. They will become teenagers who no longer need to turn to any other vice or mechanism to help them with the pain they no longer know how to process or worse still, even forgot they had in the first place.
They go to schools filled with others who are excited for what is ahead, full of fun and all that comes with it. They are filled with confidence about what they might become and all in an environment that excites and challenges them. I see a community where they have places to belong so they don’t have to find it in the broken places and relationships that try to present themselves. I see these young people growing up and raising a new generation in the hope in which they were raised.
They will grow up in a community that knows no hunger and no thirst. A community where strangers are welcomed and embraced for the richness and the diversity they bring. A community where judgement holds no place, where we look eye to eye with each other regardless of what those eyes might have seen. A community where creativity flourishes, opportunities abound and one which has no holes in its streets.
A community where sickness doesn’t reign, pain doesn’t rule and death has no sting; a community that revels in life. I see a community that is known for its times of celebration, not devastation. I see a community that is known for its togetherness, not its division. I see a community that reaches out to all instead of grabbing for all it can get.
This is not a community based in fiction or a childish dream. It’s a community being restored to what it was meant to be;
A community that loves like it was first loved