I know I have been called to this location… much as Paul was called to cross the Aegean.. I have obeyed and crossed the tracks that wall in Orange Mound on the northern boundary.
I’ve encountered brokenness I cannot repair:
- Sidewalks crumbling under the feet of the women walking home
- Indecent housing collapsing in a day with a simple push from the bulldozer, ambitious to tear down but with no plan of restoration or construction
- A vacant lot littered with pick-up sticks where a house stood yesterday
What few would call trustworthy transportation lines our parking lot: cars on bald tires, with stapled fenders, and cardboard on window shields.
Many small houses are boarded up along our block but still inhabited.
Mattresses and sofas decorate the curbs, with cushions split, exposed springs, and concealed bed bugs, free for the taking. They disappear quickly.
There is a blackened dust that hugs the white siding of the House. I think it is the heavy exhaust from the many cars that race by, headed anywhere but here.. Those are the strangers who aren’t ready for change and what is happening inside the House.
Paul Sparks, author of THE NEW PARISH, has well said in the reverse prayer of Jabez: “ Lord, shrink our territory and narrow our boundaries, that we might truly be a blessing to all” .
So Sparks joins me in realizing that in my original dream and vision, one block in Orange Mound is worthy of the labor of our determined team of women who want to be “a road sign “for women of this neighborhood who have lost their way…. And if need be, their GPS.
We are a spiritual rest stop on a corner of a busy corridor. Come and see My Cup of Tea at the House: a beach head, an oasis, a foothold, a stake, a force in earnest for the renewal of Orange Mound women.