Had I asked people in my hometown why they were still there, I would have received the answer I heard in neighborhoods from Cairo to Amarillo to rural Ohio. They would have looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Because it is my home.”
When communities and towns are destroyed, partly because of the front row’s policies of globalization, the front row solution is, “Well, just move.” What matters is growth at all costs—even if it is brutal—and that requires everyone, always, to be economic migrants. The front row likes to say that the U.S. is a country of migrants, where people have always moved for jobs. It has been done before—the Dust Bowl, the northern migration of African Americans. But those migrations were responses to failure, not signs of success.
“God pursues you, every day, every breath, for as long as you are breathing, the door of mercy and grace is open to you.” “Who am I to say God, you owe me an explanation for this?” “Who am I to demand ‘Hey God, please tell me what you’re going to do with me and then I’ll trust you?'”
“I have a choice,” Nick says, “to either be angry at God for what I don’t have or be thankful for what I do have. My mom said, ‘Nick, God’s going to use you. I don’t know how. I don’t know when, but God’s going to use you.’ And those seeds started penetrating in my heart. That’s when I started seeing that there is no point in being complete on the outside when you’re broken on the inside. I found out that God can heal you without changing your circumstance.”
“I gave my life to Jesus Christ when I read John 9 at age 15, where a man was coming through a village, this blind man from birth. Jesus saw him. People said, ‘Why was this man born that way?’ Jesus said, ‘It was done so that the works of God may be revealed through him.’
“In second Timothy chapter 3, verse 16, it says, ‘All scripture is God-breathed.’ I believe God breathed in me life and faith. This faith came over me. This peace came over me. I felt like God answered my question that I’d been waiting for. The question was: Why? Why did you make me this way? The answer was: Do you trust Me? That’s the question. When you say yes to that question, nothing else matters. There was nothing else I could find. There was nothing else that could give me peace. I knew arms and legs wouldn’t give me peace anyway. I need to know the truth of who I am, why I’m here and where I’m going when I’m not here. I haven’t found that truth anywhere else but in Jesus Christ.”