I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem (1:2)
Nehemiah was at the citadel at Susa. Like many others who had been displaced from their native land, Nehemiah had apparently ‘made it’ against all odds. He had achieved social mobility and held an influential position that made him walk through the corridors of power. And yet, when some of his friends and relatives had visited them he enquired about the state of affairs in Jerusalem. Why would Nehemiah care for the remnant and the city of Jerusalem? Why should he?
It would have been far more easier to turn the other way. It would have been far more easier to talk about the grandeur of the Persian empire. But, Nehemiah was genuinely concerned. He was not comfortably numb about the ravages of war and its aftermath. This concern is much more than a mere ‘heart-connect’ with his ancestral roots. Vision truly begins with genuine concern. Genuine concern cannot be manufactured. If the concern is mere a plastic mask, then the language, zeal, energy will soon fade away. A borrowed concern cannot fuel a vision.
Nehemiah made an effort to know of the state of affairs because he was genuinely concerned. What are you hearing – seeing and reading these days? Are you are genuinely concerned about these issues?
Remember, Vision – a preferred future – begins with genuine concern. Genuine concern shows – in what you read, hear, see and share. It is the first step for building a Vision.
Questions for further conversations
1) What are the issues you are concerned with in your context/s? How are you engaging with the issues in your context/s?
2) What are the questions you are asking to know more about the prevailing conditions in your contexts? What is that you are hearing?
3) To whom are you asking these questions?