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The city is terrible, of course.
Too much concrete and not enough trees.
The houseless suffer and the wealthy prosper.
Nazis, who don’t even bother to be neo anymore, walk the streets unbothered.
And don’t even get me started on the traffic, God.

And yet, sometimes, when the sun is setting,
and her lines are softened, we remember again
how beautiful the city is, how worthy of redemption.

The world is terrible, of course.
Trees are eaten by concrete everywhere.
In every corner, the wealthy overrun the poor.
The voices of nationalism shout over the voices of love in every nation.
And, truly, don’t get us started on the traffic, God,
because wherever we are, it’s the worst it’s ever been.

And yet, sometimes, when the sun is setting,
and her lines are softened, we remember again
how beautiful this world is, how worthy of redemption.

Give us courage to see, God, both the horror and the majesty of this city, this world you have given into our care.  How beautiful.  How worthy of redemption.

 

 

Jennifer Garrison Brownell serves as pastor at Vancouver United Church of Christ in Vancouver, Washington.  She contributed to the Revgals book There’s a Woman in the Pulpit and is the author of the not-really-about-a-triathlon memoir Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath. She blogs at There Is a River.


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