My family and I visited Vulcan Park last Monday. While I’m not crazy about a huge statue of a false god looking over the city, I absolutely LOVE the view from up there, and reading about the elements that God blessed the metro-B’ham area with and how the steel industry shaped this city and surrounding areas.
As I stood at the railing, looking at the magnificent views, I felt an ache of longing in my heart. The city looks so beautiful from that vantage point. The sun bright and the sky was a brilliant blue that day we were there, and the city shone like a jewel. It made me ache for the future, when Birmingham becomes “the city of Jesus’ dreams”, as Paul Hughes of Birmingham Prayer Furnace always talks about.
Then the Lord gave me His perspective, which made me ache with grief. When He looks at Birmingham, He can see the least and the lost in the streets. He sees the poor and homeless, who have created their own little community among the city’s abandoned buildings. He sees the abused and neglected, who are almost completely devoid of hope. He sees the broken homes, and the children who need a mom AND a dad. He sees the drugs, the human trafficking and other crime. He sees the corruption, the pride, arrogance, and self-serving attitudes. And it breaks His heart.
So what hope do we have that this city will ever become the city of Jesus’ dreams? We have the best hope of all – Jesus Himself. When God looks at this city, He also sees the shed blood of His Son, covering the land. He sees the prayers of His people rising like incense before His very throne. He sees His Bride, the Church in Birmingham, starting to wake from her slumber and become the Bride He has been waiting for. He sees how He will cause all things to work together for our good and His glory by redeeming everything the enemy meant for evil. Hallelujah!!
So join me in praying for those real needs in our cities, and rejoice with me that the God of this city – the One True God and not a false statue of a god – sees us and has redeemed us by the blood of Christ.