I believe that God loves the city.
That’s not to say God doesn’t love suburban and rural areas. He certainly does. But I think sometimes we lose sight of God’s heart for the city. There’s no fresh air, it’s noisy, the traffic is insane, parts of it aren’t very safe, it’s hot in the summer and nasty slop is everywhere in the winter, and there’s no nature. When we think about all of these things, we often forget the beauty of the city. But the city is beautiful for several reasons.
First of all, there are no bugs. Sure you may get roaches if you’re apartment is a pit, but if you go for a walk outside, you will see absolutely no mosquitoes, you will not get any cobwebs in your face, and you won’t get a single tick. That is beautiful.
Second, there are sidewalks. You can walk anywhere that you need to go. You don’t have to worry about freeways, putting gas in your car, or those weird twisty neighborhoods where all the houses are the same. Fantastic.
And one specific to Chicago, we have one of the Great Lakes. Seriously, could it be more awesome than that?
Now, wonderful as these things are, I don’t think that’s why God loves the city. I believe that God loves people, and the city is full of them! It’s where things happen, where culture is changed and defined, where ideas and dreams become realities, and where beliefs are shared. The city is where you learn and understand what different people are really thinking and believing, how the culture is changing, what people are dreaming about, and how you can really be an effective witness and impact the world for Christ. I believe that God wants to reach the city and transform the people here. God’s heart is to care for the poor, to love the lost, and to heal the broken. The city is full of people who are poor, broken and lost, and his heart is to reach those people!
What an amazing opportunity it is to be living in the heart of downtown Chicago! As I sit in my windowsill, drinking Korean tea, watching the traffic below, enjoying the view of the beautiful architecture, and listening to all the sounds of the city, I can’t help but be excited. God has a heart for the city and I can’t wait to discover more of what that is and how I fit into his plan for this city.
Soli deo gloria.