Friday, August 20, 2010

This Square Inch

"[T]here is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" -Abraham Kuyper

This oft-quoted phrase around Calvin College has been ringing in my head this summer. We (Megan and I) have invested deeply in our neighborhood for the past seven years or so, because we saw a place for which Christ was crying, "Mine!" There have been days when I've seen Christ's ownership manifest, and times when I've wondered if the tenants are paying rent to a different landlord.

This Summer, with bemused joy, I watched as young women and men with hearts beating strong for God's Kingdom came out of the woodwork to set up residence on these streets. This place that for several years has felt so lonely, so barren, to us is now trod by new feet who want to garden empty plots, renovate neglected homes, share lawn and kitchen equipment, speak the gospel. And I say with confidence, "This square inc, is yours, Christ. You are claiming what is rightfully yours!"

Then I see a family from church vacate their home because of the raucous nightly noise from across the street. My neighbor's hand is broken in several places after intercepting a trespasser's jaw. I witness a half dozen drug deals go down from the stoop of the church. A girl my daughter's age pushes a wagon down the middle of the street with no parent in sight. A rock intended for someone else shatters my friend's windshield. And I say with disappointment, "This square inch is yours, Christ. Why don't you claim what is rightfully yours?"

We live in this in between. Every square inch does belong to Christ. He is claiming it. He is claiming the vacant lot, the broken metacarpals, the renewed home, the newly empty one, the drug dealer and the pusher, the little girl and me.