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Adopting a Neighborhood

Tim and Amie Sexton are accustomed to taking leaps of faith, in good and bad economic times. When the couple desired to adopt a child from Haiti but didn't have $10,000, they went to their pastor, prayed about their tight financial situation, and two weeks later received a check for the exact amount.

Later, when plans to be missionaries in Haiti crumbled in 2007, they moved to a trailer in "the projects"-- a low-income section of government housing in Wake Forest, N.C.-- a temporary move until the couple figured out what came next.

Little did they know that Wake Forest would become their new "Haiti"—a launching pad for meeting the needs of those around them through daily acts of love and faith.

Tempted to Love

By Amie Sexton Copyright 2009

In her spare time, Amie Sexton enjoys blogging and writing poetry and literary essays. In the following poem she expresses her compassion for misrepresented people regarding divisive issues such as racism and abortion.

Tempted to Love

By Amie Sexton Copyright 2009

If we who believe would lay politics down

Step away from the marches and mantras that sound
What could God teach us of those we oppose?
Which of our own sins would He painfully expose?

Would I see the young woman who denies her child birth

As the vilest of creatures to walk on the earth?

Or would I see in her eyes the desperation she bears
As she forces her way past the shouts and jeers
Being hurled on God’s behalf of her impending doom?
But does God love her less than the child in her womb?

Or just as she chooses to end life for one more

Have we slaughtered her soul on the way out the door?

If for once we could see her the way Jesus does

Perhaps seeing her truly, we ’d be tempted to love.

Would I see the homosexual as a formidable foe?
Quickly hoisting a sign to make certain they know
That my "God hates fags!"
Oh, really. Is that so?

And if it were true that God hates these "fags"

Upon which of your sins do you suppose He gags?
Is it the gossip that spews from your lips with great ease
Or bitterness that grows like a cancerous disease?

Do we think their deeds are more heinous than our own?

That apart from His grace we could dare face His throne?
Or could we halt our disgust long enough to explore
The soul that’s within; perhaps searching for more?

If for once we could see them the way Jesus does

Maybe seeing them truly, we’d be tempted to love.

The single mom on welfare, the addict at his worst

Do they get compassion or do they "get what they deserve"?
Popping pills like it was candy? Sniffing, snorting, who can tell?
And having babies sure is handy when the check comes in the mail.

Don’t act like you ain’t thought it, even if you’ve checked your words.
God knows the thoughts inside your heart, even those that go unheard.
"Government shouldn’t do the church’s job." I’m glad that we’re agreed.
So, how many of her babies are you offering to feed?

"Well, she shouldn’t have so many kids!"

Which brings us right back to the top.
Perhaps she should have aborted them
So the welfare checks would stop.

"You’re twisting my words; that’s not what I meant."

No, but if you really thought it through
You might find that your box of what’s right and what’s wrong
Conveniently encompasses you.

Now, sin must be dealt with; God’s Word makes that plain
But love precedes truth, not judgment and blame
What is standing in the way of the work He would start;
The sin in their life or the hate in our hearts?

Could we finally see people the way Jesus does?
Because seeing them truly, we’d be tempted to love.

© 2009 Carolina Photojournalism | Credits