Whenever I visit a new city, I imagine myself moving there. I’ve fancied myself a surfer, swimming the waves, riding back to the sand on my board in Waikiki. I’ve pictured myself reaching for my own laminated transportation pass, and climbing buses with the ease of a local in San Francisco. I’ve seen myself frequenting the same airy coffee shop every morning in Nashville.
But there’s something about coming home. On a sweaty Saturday, my friend and I visited a large park that often hosts markets and festivals in the heart of Atlanta. After spending a good part of the day walking and lounging around the grassy areas, we decided to explore the neighborhoods as we walked to the car. We strolled down the small roads, taking in the houses, each one different from the next. We pointed out the shapes of windows, the bright colors of doors, the gardens, and chose our top five favorite homes. By the time we reached the car, we’d planned our future lives, raising children in our favorite houses, taking walks to the park with our pets, growing old on porch swings. And it was the first time I imagined myself aging in my hometown.
I’d like to think I’d contribute to the miniature library down the street as soon as I’d move in. Maybe I’d bake a carrot cake for my new neighbors or help out some older residents with their front yards. I think that’s the unforeseen blessing of having a home: caring for your neighborhood and your neighbors. And Jimmy Lee does just that—except that his city is New York, and his neighbors are victims of sex trafficking.
I believe in taking as long as you need to find a home, to call a place yours. But when you do, I support taking care of it, and not just inside the lines of personal property, but beyond it. Lee—with his organization, rescuing and assisting survivors—is doing what the Lord asked us all to do: He’s loving his neighbors.
Written by Aline Mello
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