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Tag Archives: urbanconnection austin

Went for a ride yesterday with my friend Dean to explore life in a neighborhood very much unlike mine. The “pizza slice” area of Austin bounded by IH35 to the east, Rundberg to the north, and Hwy 183 to the south is teetering on the brink. Pockets of working class homes surrounded by older, rundown apartment buildings, warehouses, and miles of retail strip centers provide witness to lives in various states of existence. What looks like it was once a community of middle-class hope now looks closer to a disjointed mixture of immigrants, the marginalized, the elderly, and the poor seeking only to survive. Yes, there are still areas that are well-kept and inviting, but for the most part the area is in serious need of revitalization. 

 I teeter on the see-saw between hope and despair on most days, and as I drove around I kept thinking, “What if…?” but would soon think, “It’s hopeless…!” I can only rely on what I understand Larry James preaches, that it is in the empowering of those within the community to resolve their own issues that success will be achieved. And, as I looked around at the many adults I saw no hope in them, or at least hope that has been slowly seeping away. But, when I would see children I would see hope, the glimmer of what is yet to be. I think it is in fueling these sparks of hope that success will be found.

I am enough of a realist to know that we will always have neighborhoods like this, but I am enough of an idealist to know that we can rally round our children and the hope they give us all. So, when I found the following article from the Dallas Morning News on Larry’s blog today, I had a renewed since of hope.

Together, we can decide to join God where He is already at work, if only we are willing to have hope. In this Advent season we are called to Hope and to Wait for what is yet to come, but in the New Year I would propose that we get off our couches and get busy.