Monday, February 15, 2010

Brentwood Observations

Sorry for the near total disappearance from blog-land. Hopefully, more frequent updates will be forthcoming . . . hopefully. I've got some ideas.

So onto a few recent observations from around the neighborhood.

Subtle signs of poverty are ubiquitous. At the grocery store checkout there are often abandoned items sitting next to the conveyor, easy to miss, but a sign of a customer who ran out of money.

Driving brings the frequent sight of stacks of clothing or furniture on the roadside, which mark a recent eviction.

The symptoms of poverty are also all over. Crime . . . there's dozens of bail bond offices including one named "Off the Chain Bail Bonds." Drugs . . . dealers line the main street. Escapism . . . entertainment, food, and sex are all idolized.

More painful are the signs of death around the area. A local high school's marquee sign advertises for a mortuary and at the custom t-shirt printer, well over half of their display products read "In Memory of" or "Gone Too Soon" with a relatively young person's image printed on them.

But in the midst of all that, there's good. Neighbors who come together to cover for each others needs. 25 students each week who come to our Bible study instead of their other options. The hardworking teachers and administrators at the highly ranked elementary school down the road.

Plus, Obama-fashion is still huge.

Its all part of a process and its a process that takes time . . . lots of it. But I'm thankful that our ministry is set up to enter into that long-term process alongside and with our neighbors. Its hard to see some days, but its there. And that's where I should be looking.


Anonymous said...

finely observed. sounds like there's nowhere you'd rather be for now. brilliant stuff. Tom