Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July Reflections

In our reading for today is Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. For some reason, the image of Jesus being baptized brings to mind the children I see playing in the water gushing from broken fire hydrants. I think that if Jesus was to come to Chicago today, he would not be baptized in Lake Michigan, but instead on the street from the water of a broken fire hydrant. Because the neighborhoods of broken fire hydrants need Jesus’ ministry…all places need the message of love, but I believe these broken neighborhoods could use a little extra help. I read in the news today that there were 15 people were shot between the hours of 5:30 pm and 11:30 pm yesterday. One of the people shot was a little girl…just trying to cool off in the stream of water from a broken fire hydrant.

Tonight, all across the country people are celebrating the 4th of July. But I am having a hard time mustering up my “Go America” attitude. Right now there are people shooting off fireworks all around my house. They are beautiful, but they sound like gunshots to me. 250 people have died due to a gun shot wound. Sure, some of them might be gang related, but that doesn’t mean those men/women/boys/girls deserved to be shot. When will the violence end and freedom begin? How is the west-side, south-side and north-side of Chicago any different than the 3rd world countries we read about in the news?

In her reflection of today’s reading, Donna Gray wrote, “Jesus said that he was the good shepherd and that the sheep would know his voice. In fact people who know sheep husbandry explain that sheep do know and will follow the voice of their good shepherd. They know the difference between the voice of their shepherd and another who might lead them to places other than the paths of righteousness. I love Jesus' words, for they ring true.”

Her words made me think: Where are we in the midst of this violence? Are we following Jesus’ words or are we choosing to be baptized in Lake Michigan instead of the broken fire hydrants of Chicago. What can I do to help stop this senseless violence?

I celebrated the 4th of July by having lunch with Kiva, Potts, Jana (Kiva’s old roommate from college who is visiting) & Rachel (a girl from Grinnell College who is interning at 4th this summer & I was worried she wouldn’t have any fun plans!). I grilled sausages & made salad, corn on the cob, baked beans & peach cobbler for dessert! My salad was a red, white & blue salad. It has been my favorite salad for the past few days—strawberries, blue berries, goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, cashews and spinach/arugula. YUM! You need to make this salad ASAP if you know what’s good for you. Then Kiva, Jana and I went to a White Sox game. They played the Rangers & it was a really fun game! (Chicago won btw in case you were wondering) Then I came home to make today’s daily video and wrote the reflection above. Tomorrow is back to work as usual.

Sorry for the downer of a blog post. I truly am eternally grateful for those who sacrifice their lives to defend our country. I thank God every day for Rebecca, Alex, & their peers. And I hope that everyone had a blessed day.

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