She sits on her porch steps in thin pajamas, knees up to her chest, and stares at the ground.
I wonder what she sees there.
Every day at 5:15 p.m. I pull in my driveway, the one between our houses, and slide out of my truck. I look at her, every time, but she doesn’t look at me—and I’m angry, every time, at her audacity to operate her “business” right next door. It’s not just sex she sells; it’s drugs too. She’s everything I hate about this neighborhood—this neighborhood God has called us to.
I sense the irony.
Loving the Unlovely
We moved here to “be a light,” to be the “hands and feet of Jesus,” to get out of our comfort zone and be face to face with daily opportunities to live the gospel smack dab in the middle of the hood. Seven years we’ve been here, and, honestly, it’s mostly improved. We’ve prayed over our neighborhood, beseeched God to come with his presence, and have had many opportunities to love and serve our neighbors. It’s been an amazing experience.
But then she moved in.
Lately, I’ve seen her brushing her teeth in the front yard with a cup of water. The water has been turned off for quite a while now, and I can only imagine the filth inside those four walls. I know there are bed bugs. The landlord admitted that to me the other day. And rather than being moved with compassion, I shudder as I imagine armies of tiny insects crawling over grass blades and creeping their way into our lives too. God, help us.1