Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Knowing where to look

The view from my window.
     It can be an interesting task to try to see where God resides amid the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.  The buildings are huge and terribly famous.  Billboards and tourists abound, and every day a new movie set crops up in the neighborhood.  People come, and people go.  We don't look at each other - most of us are too busy staring at the ground, looking at the names of all of the celebrities who were fortunate enough to have their names etched into a star on the sidewalk, secretly envisioning our own names on those few blank stars that we pass day to day.
Some day... my name will be... right there.
     It's a handy way to ignore each other. Staring at the ground. We never have to recognize or interact with those around us. This morning I woke up early to take LA public transit, to the terror of many of my friends, out to the Valley. In the two blocks that I walked from my door to the Metro station I passed no less than ten homeless men and women. It occured to me that if I had been in a car, I would never have really had to look at them. That's probably how this city functions as it does. Half of its residents own mansions in the Hills with more bedrooms than they can fill, and the other half can't pay for a roof for one night. We ignore each other and go on with our lives. It's definitely difficult to see where God is in all of that.
And hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.  Mark 2:17 
It's not that I think this is a city full of sinners, not at all in fact.  It just seems to me that this is exaclty where God wants to work the most.  I was a little overwhelmed at first because it has always been so easy for me to see where and how God works, and it's not so easy here in plastic-covered, bronzer-drenched Los Angeles.  There are a lot of great things about this city - the sunshine, the relaxed atmosphere (what a break from the East coast!), the Mexican food...  but all told, it seems like the City of Angels could use a few more angels, willing to look into the eyes of those around them, and a few less people caught up in the fabricated superfluity of Southern California.  And a few less Lakers fans, but that's neither here nor there.  The point is God does live in this city; it's just a matter of knowing where to look.

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