Post Chicago Urban Program Thoughts

During my spring break I participated in a 6 day emergence to know God’s heart for the poor, the broken, and the unjust. It’s also known as CUP, Chicago Urban Program. I knew going into it that I would have to ask God to break down any lingering pride which would prevent me from seeing Chicago with renewed eyes – His eyes.  So I did and He heard. By end of the few days, the West side felt like home and strangers were brothers and sisters.

The woman that the UIllinois IV ladies stayed with was a tremendous blessing – a woman who spoke with authority and lives her life in the confidence of God – defying gang members, gang leaders, and the brokenness that held her down. She understands brokenness at its worst – growing up unloved and abusing drugs – so she understands redemption in its depth. But now she speaks with authority, prays with authority, and stirs up her neighborhood with authority. Her story was similar to the testimony of others we heard from in the area – testifying to the sovereignty and endless grace of God. It shed more light onto Luke 7: 44-47 which ends with “He who is forgiven little loves little.”

God’s heart for the marginalized is especially poignant because of the fact that they have few to none who will grant them love and grace. Jesus pursues after the marginalized – modern day prostitutes, drug dealers, gang members – b/c of their potential to love deeply and fervently when they realize God’s generous grace which no one else can/will provide. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

God prepared and transformed my own heart these last few months, revealing to me my own sin and thus the depth of his grace  and now CUP has renewed my call to go forth to the marginalized. There are/were definitely times since I decided to pursue nursing that I thought maybe I could just end up working comfortably and think about “settling down” with family (God willing). But this weekend I was made indignant and unsatisfied again. PTL.

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