The few times I have experienced true faith, I have been so uncomfortable that I have wondered if faith is something worth having.
About ten years ago, during a fit of irrational exuberance (followed by many others), I made a vow that I would seek to place myself in situations where I would pray not simply because I wanted to, but because I had to: situations that required more courage, more resources, and more love than I could ever supply. So, with idealistic fervor, I moved into the Hilltop District of Tacoma.
As I experienced failure upon failure, fully accessorized with matching faith crises, my consolation and roadmap was Theirs is the Kingdom: Celebrating the Gospel in Urban America, by Bob Lupton. Bob and his wife, Peggy, took a similar journey from suburban to urban Atlanta and have lived their lives loving people who required them to recalibrate their comfort levels.
Theirs is the Kingdom is a small book filled with 42 short, gritty vignettes about people with problems and the equally problem-laden people who serve them. It is full of reflective stories of incarnational truth swathed in ghetto attire. For those of you working in the urban environs and those whose eyes are being opened to the breadth of God's love and the meaning of faith in different contexts, I highly recommend this book. The following is an excerpt, used with permission.