Standing Taller Still. (3/1/2011)

“It’s times like these that make me say, “Lord if you see me please come my way” My music plays as I make my way down the street from our house.

Today would be gorgeous if it weren’t so cloudy. Blue skies tease me with their endless possibilities from the very edges of the city’s skyline. As I turn the corner from Lindsay to Graham headed down to Flour Fusion, our community coffee shop, I come to the broken beige picket fence with a banged up porch, with a sign in the window: HOUSE FOR RENT.

Frenchie, Cam, and I discovered it simultaneously when we on our way to La Unica (the freshest Mexican food on this side of LE) yesterday. They both exploded with excitement over ministry opportunities; I saw opportunity too, the type that makes you regret where you’re at as if God wasn’t the one who placed you there. I guess you could say that I was upset: You see, that could’ve been me. 1 bedroom with $700 rent, a washroom, patchy dead grass out front, and two palm trees on the right side. I could make that work. Well, honestly, I thought we could make that work, no, not Cam, French, and I, or even Lakeside; if I had a wife, we could make that place look real nice. That’s probably why I’m single though, I’m much too daring. Still, I find myself wishing…As the chorus of the track comes around again, I notice that there are a lot of people out walking today, all of them different: a dark slim man in a blue and white warm-up jacket and black jeans with a tote over his shoulder, a tall Mexican guy maybe a few years younger than me in a beater, pajama pants, and a hoodie carrying a grocery bag next to a woman who appeared about 50 years old though she could’ve been 10 years younger. A lot of people in this city seem older than they are; especially when they have kids. I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy next to her was her son; he seems like the type to give  his parents a hard time, even at his age. Another guy, looks like a thin, 30 something year old migrant worker riding by on a bike in a white cap, another black man, late 50s maybe, thin again and very grandfather-looking sitting on a bench, waiting for the bus to come by. I nodded and gave him a “Good morning,” and he replied with the same, looking like he didn’t believe me and it wasn’t really open for discussion, so I kept pushing on past him thinking that almost everyone else looked like they felt the same way. I didn’t blame them.

Then God cued my phone to switch the song to match my silent prayer:

Suddenly, I saw everything differently: the trees contorted into twisted, soul-less husks weeping for relief from some silent torment. The normally calm and quiet drainage ditch that runs from the mountains nearby straight to the lake lie lifeless, no water for fish or even gulls to be found at its banks; I can actually see where its plants sprout from the ground today and they look so weary, they need help. The hotel near the hot spring (which I still haven’t seen) looks like its shriveled up slightly since I last saw it, and the antique store seems to be showing its age a bit more. A bar infamously named The Wreck wears its title a little more prominently today, even the passing cars seem to be dreaming of younger days; as most of them seem to be around my age (late 80s early 90s). My surroundings seem to be trying to take me to an early grave with them when God chooses music to save me once again:

Can’t Stop [Proverb. the Poet] feat. FinesSe

Listen here:

If I’m not known till the day where my pen runs dry… I’ll just live my life

To all of ya’ll with your hands up high… I’ll just live my life

Even days when the sun don’t shine… I’ll just live my life

Waiting for my moment of truth in due time… I’ll just live my life

Any thoughts?

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