As I rode the Max train towards downtown this morning (as I always love to do), I couldn’t help but look at all the souls around me and see their hurt. To look around and see the pain that inhibits this city. The oppression. The addictions. The weights of life that seem to be on peoples shoulders.
Though these streets I walk smell of tobacco and garbage, waste and weed, I somehow, by grace, find myself loving it greater still.
I love Instagram if you didn’t know, and I love capturing the pretty parts of Portland. But you must know Portland is not all pretty. It’s not just hipsters and coffee and bicycles. It’s not just music and art and food carts.
Beneath it’s hard exterior, Portland is a broken city in need of restoration.
I kept hearing the voice of the Lord on my train ride. I heard Him declaring victory over Portland. That He has already won it. That it’s not too late. Portland is going to be a city of hope. A city where people can feel safe and at home, in the arms of a heavenly father.
Over this last year I’ve inherited a heart for Portland. A heart that breaks. A heart that burns. A heart that wants to love. I’ve never felt so destined in such a place before. I am what most people would call “in the right place at the right time.” But I don’t think it’s just that.
Nothing is ever a coincidence in the kingdom of heaven. God has called me (as well as you) to such a time as this. Wherever you are and wherever you inhibit, right now, is where God is calling you to be. Sooner or later it will make sense. Sometimes we might not like it, or understand it, but God calls us to places we would otherwise not imagine going on our own.
My time in Portland thus far has become something seriously special. And it’s barely started. I’m so excited to see how God will continually use me. But I’m even more excited to see all the things God has in store for this amazing city (and region).
God is outpouring his spirit, restoring lives, healing hearts, and bringing people home.
And He’s only just begun.