I sat down at my desk this morning to the loud bangs of work which drew my attention across the street. The banging and clanging was the noise of workers taking down the scaffolding that has stood for months, draped with tarps hiding the busyness behind. What is being unveiled is pretty amazing. The eyesore of broken decaying buildings that was hidden behind the tarps is no more. It has been replaced with a thing of beauty! Every few minutes I find myself walking to the windows of my office to see what else is being revealed. With each piece of the scaffolding removed and each stare from my window, I have stronger and stronger feelings of thanks.
I am amazed at the changes I have seen and experienced in my city over the last 6 years! This beautiful unveiling reminds me that it wasn't just these buildings that were broken and decaying, it was this city... the city that God called us to plant a church in... the city that those around us in the church world said was hopeless - don't start a church there, it will fail! It can't be done. I am reminded with the clanging and banging of the intense labor that went into our building, The 567. I am reminded of the work next door at The Rookery and Dove Tail. I reminded of The Warehouse Lofts and The Dannenberg project. and many, many others. I reminded of all that has changed, and how it has changed so slowly that many of us don't even notice.
This is not the same city that we came to just over 6 years ago! There are new people and new places and new life.
I am thankful that the thing that we dreamed of is happening. Downtown Macon is becoming a NEW city. I am thankful that we, New City Church and The 567 not only get to watch it happen, but by many accounts have been a big part of helping it happen by God's grace - bringing new people downtown, bringing new music downtown, bringing new art and new business... bringing life and hope... bringing light. "What would change," we asked, "if the Kingdom of God were dropped right in the heart of our city?" "Everything," was the answer. And so it seems to be - changing - becoming something new.
Another tarp falls. Another level of transformation is unveiled. I am reminded now that what I see in this building is not just a picture of God's work in our city, but a picture of His work in me... in my heart. I am thankful that as that tarp falls I see me. Changed. Changing. God transforming me.
The picture you see doesn't do justice to the great changes that have taken place. It is amazing, an incredible transformation from brokenness to beauty... the building, the city - me. We have a long way to go - my city and me. But I see today that we are on our way. And I am thankful. Thankful for redemption. Thankful for transforming restoration.