A few days ago, Mrs. Amy Lancaster told us a story about the beginnings of her home.
She told us about when We Will Go was just - "just" - a Word from Him.
Just an idea. An invitation. And a misused plot of ground.
She told us about the earliest groups - friends on volunteer day-trips - who came to pick up trash from the land her house stands on.
The piece of land that the Lancaster family now calls home; the grassy square plot in the middle of Jackson - used to be a drug corridor. The place where bringing Life to Jackson started was (at that point) nothing but a drugs-traded and drugs-used property.
All the Lancasters had was an invitation from God. "All" they had was a vision of what was coming. Of what could be.
An invitation of how they could live showing His love.
She told us how their friends came just after their move - bringing groups to join in the mission. How they picked up glass and trash; cleaning up the garbage from things that had been used to deteriorate lives. She told us about the kind willingness of many friends to be part of the mission - even though sometimes they didn't see the vision.
But, my favorite thing she told us about that plot of land, and about their friends gathering around to help them walk out their mission is this:
The first times, their friends didn't want to pick up glass and trash. (If we're being real, who really does?) She told us that a lot of times, their friends didn't see the value in removing the trash, because they hadn't recognized yet what the Lancasters saw.
They didn't see the importance of clearing out trash, but Amy did. She saw it - not as a Saturday improvement project - but as preparing the ground.
She told them, as she handed them the bucket for collecting garbage "we're going to plant a garden here". On the plot of land that didn't even grow grass at the time.
At that point, it couldn't grow anything. It had been too misused. Abandoned too long. Trashed beyond recognition of its true potential.
It's beauty was unrecognizable to most people.
But Amy and David saw it.
They heard the Lord's heart, and created space for the gold.
And, as she told us in that same conversation, when we sat on the grassy plot, and she pointed to the garden, "we have never, not had enough food. Every time someone asks to pick, there are more peas - even if they've just been picked the day before."
What beauty. Not only that He is physically providing for the neighbors of Jackson, but that - in the same way - He shares His vision for us, and invites us to be part of preparing the ground, and building His vision; of becoming who He sees we can be.
And the truest beauty is, I am that plot - and so are you. That part of His plot. Where nothing should grow, because of my misuse of what He's given me. But He has picked out and thrown away all of the broken pieces of things I've wasted - one by one - and now I'm the site of what He's planting, and He's cultivating on that same ground what will nourish me (and others!) back to Life.
Blog by Morgan Presley