Overheard #7 - I call this one, "God! Please! Prove him wrong!"
A group of old men, talking over lunch. One man says to the others,
"They're doing all this talk about 'revitalizing the city.' But, I don't care how much work they do, ain't nobody ever gonna' want to go downtown Waterbury... Ever."
It's interesting that I overheard this old man and this quote, in particular, considering what's been on my heart and what I have been praying for Waterbury lately. The city is, currently, a byword among people in Connecticut. When we tell people we live here, they usually say, "Sorry" and if they don't actually say that, they seem to want to.
But, I am beginning to really love this city. Dwayne and I don't actually live "in the city." We live outside the area I am praying for in a lovely, safe neighborhood. But, the people who reside downtown are desperate need of a spiritual awakening. Many people literally wander the streets aimlessly day to day. As I go to and from work at the gym, which is right in the center of downtown, I see people pushing carts, sitting with all their belongs at their feet on church steps, churches with huge, but very locked doors, people digging in trash cans, huddled in entrances, standing in groups in ally ways, old men sleeping on benches, young men carrying brown paper bags, moms with kids in strollers standing in line for shelters and food banks.
The Bible says "The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men." That's also what I see. Drug dealers loiter on street corners in mass and "set up shop" near certain bus stops, unashamed, without any fear of being caught, like they have a legitimate road side stand or something. But, even the legal stores aren't much better. They sell junk: sex toys, bongs or idols. Literally, they sell idols, statues of religious significance. There seems to be a big marker for them downtown. And, they also sell beer, lots of it. I once saw twenty cases being delivered to a building I knew had to be condemned. I had no idea there was even a store front on the property! But, it makes sense. Stores might not be selling necessities like food and clothes, since there's no real market for those items. But, they are doing a great business supplying people with overwhelming addictions that have them bound.
I am beginning to ask God to pour out His Spirit out on this city. I want God to do something here that people talk about, something people, even those who don't know God, have to attribute to Him, because God's the only one who could do it.
And, I also want God to do something here that makes His people envy, in a good way. Christians are known to travel across country to hear certain speakers or attend certain concerts or worship services because they know they'll meet with God there. That's the kind of thing I am asking Him to do in Waterbury.
Maybe He'll even let His glory rest over the city the way the clouds of smoke must have hovered over the old brass factories back in the day. Those same factories are abandoned and boarded up now, but the brick work on them and the craftsmanship on the architecture is simply beautiful. Maybe the work of God could go so far that it even begin to change the landscape and the economy and those old factories could come alive and be filled with people being productive again?
So, that's what I am praying: God! Please! Prove him wrong!