Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Big Dirty Cities

We recently had some friends visit from Virginia Beach. We always wonder what people will think when they come see where we live for the first time. They met us at church in the burbs and a couple of them rode home with Chris so they could talk about church, planting, etc. As they were coming down the interstate into the city, one of them made a comment about the city being dirty (Unneccesarily Long Disclaimer: as I was not privy to the conversation and Chris probably doesn't remember the exact context, I can't say for sure what this friend said or what he meant, but I am sure it was in no way derrogatory, because I know this guy, and he's anything but rude) Anyhow, the other friend quickly spoke up and said "Oh, man, I love big dirty cities!" This was a bit of a surprise to us, being that he lives in one of the most suburban places in the country, in a decidedly clean neighborhood.
It sounds funny to say it, but I know what he means. Our immediate location is a far cry from the pristine neighborhoods of the suburbs, and for some people, it's just too "icky". But we love it! For us, it feels alive. We'd rather take the weeds growing through the cracks in the sidewalk and the panhandlers and the graffiti along with the plentiful parks, trendy bistros, and upscale clothing boutiques, than to live where the closest thing we can get is a fabricated town center in a mall, where you'll never see a weed, or be asked if you can spare some change, or encounter anything remotely offensive to your senses, except for maybe the price tag on those designer jeans...