Up close and personal with my neighborhood

On Saturday I went on a walk. My walk lasted for almost an hour, but I only ventured one block away from our home. I brought my macro lens along and we explored. You cover much less ground when looking so closely. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the walk. Some are just pretty, others are so fascinating. Who would have thought that a street sign post had so much color and texture!
Sunday Keith and I went for another walk. We ventured much further this time. We walked around all three of the parks in Highlands, then down Highland avenue to Five Points. This area is gorgeous, brimming with life, creativity, history, and people who really seem to enjoy living there. Then we crossed over Five Points and walked back towards our home just a few blocks north of Highland ave. On this route we passed through abandoned parks and streets, the backside of the South Town projects, and St. Vincents hospital. A whole different atmosphere. But this is a huge part of why I am thankful we live downtown. I don't want to be tucked away from places, realities, that are unpleasant, difficult to deal with, and even scary. And I hope God guides us in how we can do more than just observe, but really be loving neighbors. Joel's sermon last night may have been my favorite at Redeemer so far. We looked at Amos 8 and 9 and he spoke about injustice and a Biblical picture of Heaven. Amos was set in a time where the disparity between the poor and the rich was huge. As the rich got richer, the poor got poorer. (sound familiar?) Amos points out that in the Kingdom of God, this is not just unfortunate, but an affront to justice. Our call to meet the needs of all people, to not turn a blind eye to the hungry, hurting, forgotten, and needy people in our community is not a call to charity, but to JUSTICE--a force that is at the heart of our creator, and is so much bigger than us. It is a call to take part in redemption. And we are promised Redemption. Amos describes this final redemption as a time when hunger, thirst, homelessness, and injustice will never be felt on this earth again. hallelujah! Oh how humbling is it that we are called to take part in redemption now.

In other news:
  • I did paint our living room this weekend. And, thanks Pat for the help where I couldn't reach (that's what friends are for). It looks great and oh-so cozy.
  • Keith starts classes today at UAB. It will be a grueling month for us as he still works at the moving company and will have class from 5:30-9:45 monday through thursday. Prayers would be appreciated.
  • I have my first session with my literacy student today. Pray for that too!

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