I had the very best plans of writing up a gorgeous blog post, complete with stunning images of Sarah’s wonderful bridal shower from last weekend in South Carolina, but I just can’t bring myself to not write about my city, and I don’t want to mix the two, because my dearest little bride deserves her own post. So stick around for that one as soon as I stop geeking out about Lightroom 6 and decide I’m done editing those photos.
I’ve been hearing a lot of stuff this week about my beloved city, in the media, on social media, from friends and neighbors and students. I’ve heard a lot of words like “mess”, “shameful”, “disgrace”, and I’ve decided that those words just don’t sit well with me. To back up a little, Baltimore has surprised me with its charm since day one. Sure, it’s not the slow-driving, big-smiling south, but the people have a quirk and camaraderie of their own. I can’t pretend to know what happened to Freddie Gray (though the fact that no one seems to know is at the root of the unrest) and I was not witness to any disruptive riots. I have seen videos, watched the news, read articles, and kept my ears and eyes open. What I see is an entire people group hurting. What is shown on the news is the tiniest fraction of extreme reactions (largely by youths with no proper outlet for anger). What I hear from my community (my church members and friends and my very informed gym ladies) is this – the citizens of Baltimore are aching with injustice, but are working hard all the same to put the pieces back together. They are stepping out and being heard, perhaps for the first time in a very long time. There are communities banding together to feed kids who would go without lunch when school is cancelled, to sweep up the streets, to keep their angry sons and daughters in line, to protect the officers and guards in service to this city, and to speak out for voices that are largely silenced by the governing majority. Baltimore is hurting, and calling it a mess won’t help.
What will help, and my current plan of action, is this:
Pray for this city and its people.
Call 311 or visit one of these sites to find out where to help:
There will be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.