By Sarah Burrows
Dear Wilmington, my ex-town,
I guess these are the thoughts of an infinite number of people after a break up; a million or more unsent letters; a rehashing of the ins and out of our relationship. I bet you never expected a letter like this from me, but I hope it finds you well.
We started off great, didn’t we? Born on Sycamore Street and an early move to the ‘burbs. We even stuck it out during four years of college. I almost left you then.But, I decided to wait it out. You are home to my church, my school, and my family. You were my world. Where did we go our separate ways?
Our relationship became very one sided. You gave me lots and I took with no plans of repayment. I’m sorry for all the needs I couldn’t meet: your homeless, drug addicts, abused children, and the lonely and aching. For sure I saw them. Oh, I was well aware of all your weaknesses. If I really loved you I could have done something… I could have prayed. But days became weeks became months, and I focused on myself. The circles of people I prayed for became smaller and smaller until there was just me.
I really treated you poorly. Did you ever suspect that I attended the wedding of Christ and his Bride, the church, nearly every week and never invited you as my “plus one?” I knew some really great, life changing news that I rarely shared with your people. I knew about a Savior, but I lived like I was oblivious. Confessions paint us in an ugly light, huh?
Now I sit on the other side of the world, in Botswana, surrounded by Africans who are on their faces crying, screaming out to God for their country… and in me it confirms that I let you down. They are winning battles against principalities and powers.
They are covenanting to pray for their leaders and to uphold them in prayer. But me? By the end of our relationship I could barely remember to pray for myself, much less your spiritual strongholds or your legislators.
I can’t say right now if we’ll ever get back together. Either way I wish you all the best and now I pray for you often. I pray that Christ’s bride will remember you often. I pray that warriors will spring up, even in unexpected places. I hope all the failed relationships with Christians over the years haven’t left you too scarred. I want you to be happy and free. Don’t lose hope. Things can change for you. Things will change when someone finally honors you with passionate prayer and really cries out on your behalf. You deserve that.
Sarah is from Delaware. Her faith journey started at 4 years old when she got to leave the nursery and trek up to big church to be baptized with her baby brother. For her, growing up as a Christian has been like a roller coaster: there are times when her faith has been strong and times when she has been too stubborn to accept the guidance that God provides. She is just thankful that God has never let her get off the ride. She misses the University of Delaware like crazy, but is currently on a year-long mission trip around the world. Click here to read her blog.