Occupy Your Community

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 Posted by Anitra Elmore

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nwsignI took a walk through my neighborhood today (actually it was more of a strut—I was listening to my 70’s old school mix). As I walked (I mean strutted), I realized how many of my neighbors I don’t even know and begin to chastise myself for not really occupying the neighborhood I’ve lived in for the last two years.

Sure, I’ve thrown the obligatory smile and wave every now and then, but for the most part, I’ve never engaged many of them. Sadly, I’ve been fine with that as I’ve focused on this bubble we call home, but today  I found myself completely convicted by my failure to intentionally occupy this area.

For example, my next door neighbors suspected they had a prowler last week. When they told me about it, my initial thought was, “Whew, glad it wasn’t us.” I was so pleased with the fact that the Lord had continued to answer my prayers for our protection, and it hit me like a ton of bricks when it occurred to me that I hadn’t been sending any of those prayers in my neighbors’ direction. (Father, forgive me.)

I live here and I enjoy living here, but while I’m doing all this living, intentionally occupying and actually “doing business” has not been a priority. Now, I am in no way an extrovert, so I’d never be the house wife taking pies to folks in the neighborhood, but praying,  I can do, yet even that has been a gesture I’ve been content to ignore.

And, just like all of the other stuff I confess here on Daily Fast Fuel, I’m sure I’m not alone (maybe I just hope I’m not alone). Though we love Jesus and want to advance His kingdom, it’s so easy to get distracted by our own concerns and leave the people around us to fend for themselves. I have this silly notion that our presence, our prayers and our engagement could be the difference between life and death for the people in our communities. I’ll remind myself of that the next time I’m strutting through the neighborhood and I hope this little post will be a reminder for you to do the same.

“The LORD said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake… If I find forty-five there, he said, I will not destroy it… I will not do it if I find thirty there… For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it… For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it…" From Genesis 18:23-33


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