Monday, July 04, 2005

The Rocket's Red Glare

As I write this tonight, there are hundreds of fireworks going off in La Villita. I would love to think it was all about patriotism, but like in many urban communities, it is also about letting go of some steam and taking advantage of an opportunity to something dramatic (we really don't need to go downtown to see the fireworks, as it is amazing right here in the barrio).

Besides eating and watching fireworks today, I have been reflecting on the fact that I was born in this country for a purpose. Compared to many nations, we have so much. I am grateful for the freedom I have to practice my faith. I am grateful that I can provide for my family, that I can travel, that I can study, and that we live in a land that is relatively free from violence.

While I count all of my personal blessings, I am also moved to pray for the million of people around our globe who don't have it so good. Many are persecuted for their faith, many don't have enough to eat (while I've cooked out twice today), many are in constant danger because of war and civil unrest (and the rockets blowing up outside their homes are not entertainment like they are here).

I have also thought today at the amazing opportunity that we have in this country, as individual citizens, to raise our voices and participate in the democracy of our nation. If we don not like how things are going, we have a right and a duty to let let our opinions be known-regardless if others disagree!

With so many Latinos in our nation, both democrates and republicans are fully aware of the potential importance of our voice and vote. We must not let our leverage and opportunity be wasted by staying on the sidelines and not getting involved. If we can embrace a Mestizo vision of the future, where patriotism is not automatically seen as uniformity, where every citizen of our great nation has to think and look alike on every issue, and where as followers of Christ, we can hold up a banner of justice that hold's our nation's leaders accountable to lead with compassion, justice and morality, concerned not only about Latinos, but leading by being concerned for the welfare of all, then we too will do our part to ensure that we can be proud of our nation for generations to come.

Lord, have mercy on our nation. Help us to be champions of justice here at home and throughout the world.


At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Tiffany Childress said...

Hi Noel!!!!!!! (and gang)

The youth and I just returned from Quito yesterday (our fearless youth pastor Marcos will stay abroad for another 2 weeks). Your words are resonating...I'm having reverse culture shock returning to my life here.

We missed the fourth. In its honor, we ate hamburgers in downtown Quito. Karla, "Flaca", kept complaining about missing the hood fireworks. I was actually grateful--the bullets make me nervous.

We do have SO MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL for here. The youth, Marcos, and I talked about global responsibility in living out God's justice with our education and privilege.

Grateful to be in the fight with you. Tiff Childress

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