The waters of the Delaware River ran calm and smooth yesterday morning. As I stood on its western bank in the city of Chester, there was a gentleness to the current as it reflected images of birds hovering above the flow. And I found myself caught a bit in the sacred serenity of the moment.
Chester is not really known by outsiders as scenic or sacred. Most of the news stories run by local outlets are draped in despair, violence, poverty, addiction, hunger, and lack of opportunity. Yet, when you get to know local residents, community leaders, and movers and shakers in the neighborhood church, this is not the full story. Like a river running alongside the city, there are faithful ripples of goodness mobilized by residents who dare to smooth over the rocky realities of social and systemic brokenness through organized initiatives of empowerment. And if we have the eyes to see and ears to hear, as the birds linger over the Delaware, so does God’s Spirit over this city not forsaken. The same holds true for all our cities, neighborhoods, and nations, if we stop to take notice.
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