I am suddenly suspicious of my new neighbors.

I mean, do you blame me?

I caught one of them breaking into my car!

I hear them often, sometimes late at night,

Laughing, cussing and carrying on.

I find myself being a little timid at times,

Preferring the view from peep hole,

Behind my big, thick door.

I came home today and my lawn chair was on their patio.

Putting it back I wondered why someone would do that without asking.

I mean I say I love people even if they are loud, rude and obtrusive.

I tell my suburban friends that I want to live in the inner city,

And they seem impressed.

But do I have what it takes?

I feel like I am coming apart at the seams,

Like I am being put to the fire to see if I will run.

I am getting a taste of what it would be like to live in the ghetto.

It is unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and all together unsettling.

I feel like I can’t fit in with them.

That they are too different, too unorthodox, too ghetto for me to handle.

I’m just some white guy in their eyes,

But I want to be so much more than that.

I want them to see me for me and see you Jesus in me.

Oh Lord, I won’t run, I won’t hide from them.

I will learn to love them and understand them,

And all the while I will lean on you Lord.

You have taken me as I am and loved me as family.

So I will too love them as they are and welcome them as family.

Thank you Jesus for all this and for them,

My new neighbors.