by Charissa B. Shawcross
A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble, Comes up like a flower and withers, flees like a shadow and does not last. (Job 14:1–14)
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention, so as to live for the rest of your earthly life, no longer by human desires, but by the will of God. You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, live in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. (1 Peter 4:1-3)
Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
Remembering the lessons of Christ's death for our sins, and the promise of the resurrection, I look around the Detroit neighborhoods I serve and pray for the salvation and resurrection of our people.
I am blessed to serve in an area where I have spent most of my life. I have seen the neighborhoods flourish and burn. I have seen the 1960s "white flight" to the suburbs. I have seen attempts of politicians to heal, and steal. I have seen those who praise the work of dedicated individuals to restore the spirit of Detroit, and I have heard politicians saying, "They are like dinosaurs…let them suffer."
Detroiters have an amazing spirit. They will rise from the rubble. They, like I, am devoted to seeing the restoration of our city. We have much work to do. As a Church and Community Worker, I am able to bring the hope of the resurrection to the community.
I am also able to receive the hope and love of the clients I serve. For many I have become the family they never had. They see the hope of the resurrection in their lives. They see the need to change their lives in order to receive the forgiveness available to them. The sins of their past cannot be changed, but there is the promise of forgiveness in leading a life for Christ.
Has the promise of everlasting life not penetrated to our core? The overindulgences, keeping up with the Jones's, our days full of trouble have led to our financial worries. We have spent our way into a recession, and with the collapse of the auto industry, we are hardest hit in Detroit. Unemployment and underemployment are the highest they have been since the Depression. In the midst of the financial crisis, we need, now more than ever, to remember the promise that all we require will be provided.
The season of Easter is the promise. As we wait for the risen Christ, we look around and hope for our own salvation. We hope for the salvation of our neighbors and communities. We pray for others who have not accepted the promise of the resurrection. We wait, we pray, we believe. We believe that the promise of a life lived for Christ is a life well lived. Like Mary waiting at the tomb, we know our lives will never be the same.
Charissa B. Shawcross is a Church and Community Worker with The United Methodist Church serving as Director of Community and Health Services for the Joy-Southfield Health Clinic and the NOAH Project in Detroit, Michigan.
Date posted: Apr 01, 2010