June 10, 2009

Today at church we had a peace rally against violence in Chicago. 36 school aged kids died this year because of violence in this city. 36! One is too many. To encourage the kids to have a safe summer, we handed out hotdogs on the front lawn, had games, had some community organizations with tables, and then held a rally and peace march around the neighborhood.

It was wonderful and it got me thinking. I love the feeling I get at events like this. We come together as a community and pray. There is laughter and there were tears. Events like this leave me feeling so good and I question why I don't feel this way more often. There are three big areas I see that are present at these events that I feel are not present in my everyday life.

First, there is community. This is a huge one. People come together and care about each other. We joke and laugh. I made friends with a little girl who's name was Fatima today. I'm pretty sure didn't speak much English, but she'd smile at me and come and talk to me all day. I had a man joke with me while waiting for his hotdog. He didn't speak a word of English and I very little Spanish...but we laughed and joked anyways. I love standing on the corner handing out food to anyone who walks by. Why don't we do this more often?

The second thing stems from the first. This community is diverse. I get so frustrated in my daily life. I hang out with a bunch of rich, white people. Today we had the whole spectrum of colors with people speaking multiple languages. There were rich and there were poor. But no one knew who was who. We were just one community.

Finally, there is spirituality. Faith does not have a huge place in my life and I miss that. It's something I'm trying to understand but feel really lost about. I used to be really into church and my faith, but I don't like that person I was then. I judged people and didn't care about justice. Those are huge things and I have ended up associating my faith with those things. I know that that's not right, but I do. I need to work on reclaiming my faith. I love how we come together to pray and sing and it's just normal feeling.

My goal is to work to incorporate these things in my life more. I know it won't be easy and it will be uncomfortable at times, but I think if I can bring these things into (or back into) my life, I will be a much happier person.


David Case said...

I too have been through the process of rejecting the faith I grew up with and have just recently started to grasp a faith of my own. It is a process of understanding the person you were created to be, embracing that person and living fully into that purpose. You were made who you are for a reason and all of those things which stood out to you as right and good tonight are part of what defines that person. This is a life long process and it is a tough process, but it is process which leads to you being perfected into a fuller picture of what life can look like and that is very powerful witness to those around you.