Sunday, September 30, 2007

Urban Grit

Ben and I live in uber yuppy suburbia. There are 3 malls within driving distance. Houses are being built everywhere. We are living where everyone else wants to live. Yet, ee don't really want to live here. It's nice for the convenience and the safety, but the cookie cutter quality of everything drives us both nuts. But we are here for now.

I do have to say that we have one of the most amazing grocery stores near our apartment. This grocery plays classical music, has dim lighting and employs a sushi chef. It has a great selection of (non-local grrr...) organic produce and tons of health food items. This store makes grocery shopping relaxing. I love shopping there. Until I get the bill and pass out. But that's besides the point.

There is a grocery store near the urban church we attend that is completely different. Ben and I went there once. We walked in and noticed two very odd things about the store. 1. The shelves are mostly EMPTY and 2. There are no checkout lanes. You had to pay at the counter where you get the cigarettes. There was Spanish pop music blaring over the speakers and it looked like the sort of place where drugs would be sold right out in the open. I mean the porn was, why not the drugs? I thought for sure someone would walk in with a gun. I had decided right then and there that if anyone looked at me funny I was going to throw my pop in the air, scream and run out. That's my new defense, create chaos and run. I think it might work... anyway, this grocery store makes you relax when you make it out alive.

The neighborhoods from where we live and where we worship are obviously very different. We met a guy last night who claims he went to jail because the police made him kill a man. I'm not sure how much, if any of that story is true, but you don't really hear that conversation next to the soy milk at the grocery store near here.

It's hard and it's easy to live here. It's easy to get comfortable and fit in here. And it's hard because I'm not ever comfortable. I keep thinking we have too much stuff, all while wanting more. I keep trying to remind myself to save electricity, we have friends who can't pay for it. I want to stay here because it's safe, but I can't wait to move to the city because I love it. I love the people and the culture and the rawness of the city. I have no idea how to relate to the people, and no idea how to help them, but I feel called and I can't wait until Ben and I really get to serve there.

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