Inspired by Ephesians 1:18 (NRSV) “with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.”
Our house sits on the southwest corner of an intersection. If you stand in front of our living room window, you have the view of a neighborhood in transition, one that is barely holding on to its dignity. It’s a neighborhood where children are dying and residents are losing hope.
The other day, I observed a group of teachers marching around the school up the block. Brandishing picket signs and chanting in unison, they advertised to all who cared to listen that they were on strike.
By now, the teachers were close enough so I could read the fine print on their placards. Lower class sizes. Social workers. Counselors. Librarians and Nurses. Time for teachers to prepare. Respect and adequate pay.
At one point, the procession paused in front of the abandoned house across the street. Against that backdrop, I remembered teenagers who used to hang out in small groups on the front stoop. I saw the cars that used to stop in the middle of the street as money and packages were exchanged through open windows. I pictured the young man who stumbled out of the car after he had been shot by his companion while playing with a gun. I recalled the posture of their grandfather as he stood there looking worn down and defeated.
Be that as it may. Through the eyes of my heart, I visualized a level playing field, where young men and women did not have to hang out on stoops because they had no place else to go. I fantasized about a world where everyone had an equal chance for success. I fixed my sights on a system where structural racism, poverty, and despair had been eliminated.
As the picketers continued to march, I cheered them on! And, I prayed for them as they shouldered the burdens of society-at-large, chanting and fighting the good fight on behalf of the next generation.