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Your City
Photo: Elena Elisseeva
People walk in all directions: men, women, young people, the elderly, children…they all walk with a purpose…(or do they?)

There are different colors… white, brown, blonde, redheads, brunettes. There are people from all nationalities with different accents (and one that I recognize amidst the millions of voices).

There are people with somber faces, pensive…elegant women, well-dressed men, office workers, secretaries, bosses, and assistants.

Young people laughing, walking light and lively in their tennis shoes. Young people comfortably wearing their jeans with rips and tears, defiantly slapping everything that is established as correct and proper. They are happy… vibrant.

This is your city… full of multi-colored people, of various accents, that walk, cross the streets, wait on street corners, take the subway, and stumble out of taxis.

The Other Face

But that’s the most presentable side of your city. Have you seen the other face? Have you stopped to listen to its groans? Or hear its cry? When you come across a young person with longing in his eyes and you do nothing…it’s your city that cries! Have you stopped to think about that?

Maybe you are used to walking alongside John, the young man that abuses drugs on the corner of your street. He’s so close to you and yet you never approach him. Or, maybe right when you’re turning the corner, you find that grandfather that lives under the bridge, that every day walks the streets begging for a piece of bread, a cup of soup…a word of hope.

I mean, I understand. You’re so busy with all of your responsibilities at church, like announcing the hymn at church or preparing the youth program for the 4th of July weekend. It’s too noisy out on the streets to be able to help. There’s too much evil. It’s too cold…too hot…we’re not of this world…

I want you to know that if you do not listen to the cry of your city, others will. In fact, they are already doing it! There are thousands of organizations that are taking compassion on our cities’ streets and are making a difference in this world.

But, you know the Way. You claim to know the One that can help them. So, when is it? When will you wake up from your slumber?

“From far across the earth I brought you here and said, “You are my chosen servant. I haven’t forgotten you.” Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories” (Isaiah 41:9-10).

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By Chari Torres. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the Bilingual Bible, Contemporary English Version, © 1999.

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