Today I will invite a friend to join me as I walk. (The relationship with this person will determine whether we pray together or simply walk while praying silently.) “For where two or three come together in My name, there I am with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Our friends Scott, Jen, and their daughter, Megan were visiting Seattle on a tour of colleges that they were considering for the next phase of Megan’s life. As is our custom with guests, we had a very enjoyable time showing off our beautiful city. Our relationship with Scott and Jen began many years ago as discipleship, but it long ago transitioned into a mutual friendship among fellow travelers.
On the morning of their departure, Scott and I decided to get up early and pray through our neighborhood. It was still dark as we walked out my door and turned left down my alley. We prayed for Ed & MJ, for Tim & Dorene, for Jean and for several other neighbors as we walked by each of their homes. We tried the gate at the Children’s Play Garden. It was unlocked so we found a place in the middle of the small park and asked that God’s Kingdom might be in this neighborhood as it is in heaven. We thanked God for the way that this plot of land had been transformed from a place of rusty, broken playground equipment and drug dealing to a place where kids played freely and learned to grow vegetables. We sensed the light and power of the gospel even as the first light of the sun broke over the homes and buildings of our neighborhood.
We walked by the Japanese Presbyterian Church – a congregation more than a hundred years old and part of our neighborhood since the 1960s. We thanked God for their presence and prayed for their pastors, Kerry, JP, and Satoru. We walked to the corner that had become a construction sight. Gone were the abandoned houses and rising are more than forty five apartments and townhouses. We prayed for the future residents of this plot of ground. We walked down toward Rainier Avenue. Past the five rusty old RVs like the hundreds that serve as the only home for so many in our city. We prayed. We watched. We listened.
We walked past the Lighthouse for the Blind as people were being helped off the vans and as they felt their way with white canes along the sidewalk and as they felt for the code that would open the gate and take them to another day at work. We prayed. We watched. We listened. Jesus said, “for judgement I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind” (John 9:39).
We climbed the hill that overlooks the valley in which I live. We grabbed some excellent coffee at QED. QED stands for quod erat demonstratum – “that which is to be shown”. Like the great brew at QED, the power of the gospel is that which is to be shown. We looked over the city skyline and prayed for the advance of that powerful gospel in the city of Seattle.
We walked down the hill. We said goodbye to our friends as they flew home to their neighborhood. The virus is spreading.