You are very important. Everything that has been said in the previous two lessons applies to you personally. Everywhere you go is imbued with your impact. Every place tells a story and your very presence will influence that story. Your task is to become a beacon of God’s redemptive hope in order to influence the places you frequent in the most positive way possible. The good news is that you are not alone in your task. The God that has always been everywhere makes every place relevant. He is already at work wherever you go and will help you learn the redemptive story he is telling there. As you trust him, he will fill you with his presence and include you in his powerful work in surprising ways.

The principle for this lesson is: the closer to the problem, the closer to the solution. It is only in close proximity that we can truly come to understand God’s redemptive plan for any person or place. It is only in close proximity that the light of our presence is beneficial. And it is only in close proximity that we encounter our neighbor. God decides who our neighbor is. Our appreciation of the dignity we both possess will determine how we respond to their situation. Will we assume we know their story or will we ask questions? Will we be open to receiving help from them or only giving to them? As we stand close, learning our neighbor’s story and honestly telling our own, the problems that we all have can be shared and the God who solves them can be found. In this way, we move closer to dignified interdependence.

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FOR REFLECTION:

Watch the video above. Change is a given. How things change is not. There are three stories in the video. Pick one and describe how you think that person is being a part of the change that they hope to see.

Consider the place that you live. What has God done there? How would you describe God's redemptive plan for that place?