love your city.

Has it really been two weeks since my last post? Whoops…

If I were to update you on all my goings-on, we’d be here for far too long.  I went to a friend’s photography show at SALT Gallery, celebrated Easter Sunday with a sunrise service in Central Park, went to a NEEDTOBREATHE concert, spent time with friends old and new, went to the Lausanne 12 Cities, 12 Conversations NYC gathering, reunited with some friends from my Venice trip in 2007 and, as usual, cooked and baked up a storm.

I really, really love spring in New York City.  Everything just starts to look alive again.  Everyone is outside, walking in the park or sitting at outside cafe tables.  The park looks absolutely beautiful.  I could wander around for hours on end with no destination.  That actually tends to happen quite a bit!

I could say it a million times but I really just love this city.  I know most of you remember 16-year-old Brittany who couldn’t wait to move to New York.  Sometimes I look back on that and it hits me how cool it is that I’m really here.  As much as I’ve always loved it, God has really given me a heart to see this city reached with His love.  For all the cool, trendy, exciting things happening in New York, it’s still a really dark and hurting city.  Tim Keller (pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church here in NYC) said something interesting at the Lausanne event last week: everything, both great and dark, is magnified in a major city.  The good stuff is really, really good.  The bad is really, really bad.  I’d even say that things that appear “good” can have a dark side.  For instance, success and money drive so many people here.  In the world’s eyes that ambition and drive is good, but at the end of the day there are a lot of really successful and rich people who are totally hopeless and empty.

I feel like I always go back to Ethiopia when I think about that stuff.  I just think about the people there who, by our standards, had nothing and should have been hopeless and miserable.  But they weren’t. They were kind and joyful and selfless.  And then you have New York (and probably most major cities), where we’re filthy rich in comparison to most of the world. We have more than we could ever really need and we’re empty and selfish and discontent.

New York City is full of people who desire more and who aren’t content with where they are, what they’re doing and what they have.  I am so thankful for the hope that I have in Jesus, because without it, this city would probably chew me up and spit me out.  I’m thankful for the family I have in Christ and for the opportunity to reach this city with His love alongside them.  I love the tagline for Redeemer’s City to City website, and feel that it sums everything up pretty perfectly:

LOVE YOUR CITY TO LIFE.

“And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”
Jeremiah 29:7

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