Posted by: alliehope | September 8, 2008

City of Big Shoulders, City of Big Dreams

I sit here in my suburban pad, thinking of just how my heart belongs in Chicago, and how homesick I become whenever I leave the city. It’s gotten to the point where I almost cried when I hit Jefferson Park, as the suburbs began working their inexorable pull over me.

As I think about the change of seasons, both in the world around me as summer eases into fall, and the changing season of my own life, as I’m working on transitioning into the city permanently, I realize that the city is a place of dreams: some dream of fame, others of success, others of raising children, others, simply of survival. All those dreams live behind the eyes of each person I pass on the street, the people sitting in coffee houses, in churches, in bus shelters and on street corners.

I’m thinking about this in light of my church’s recent worship night in the 20’s-30’s community, and the huge realization that God has a dream for the city of Chicago, a dream that will take every single one of us who are His children to come true. It’s amazing to think about, that God has a dream, not just for Chicago, but for the world–and for each one of us.

And so I wrote a prayer for the city of Chicago and its dreams:

From Howard to the North
To 139th to the South
There is not one inch of this city
You have not called Yours.

This city of “Big Shoulders”
Strong and rough, yet beautiful
Cries out to You in its brokenness
Longing for Your redemption.

So gather us, Father, the children of Chicago
Broken and weak, yet beautiful
Coming to You in our repentance
Raising our eyes to the horizon, seeing Your redemption come.

Call us, change us, ignite in us the dream
Of giving life, sharing love, building hope
From Howard to the North, 139th to the South–
All the lives in this city are Yours.

I realize more and more that God is about to do an amazing work in the city of Chicago, and I want to be in on it. I pray that we might catch a vision of this work, and each of our parts of it. If we do, and we chase His dreams for this city, and for ourselves, I believe our lives will be forever changed, and this world will be forever changed.

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