A Portland Perspective

Within 10 minutes of leaving the airport gates the brokenness of this city is evident. We enter the red line train heading towards Providence as a hodge-podge of Gods glorious creation pile on along with us. 

A family sprints to the train at a stop, stroller and cigarette in hand, expletives begin flowing loudly on the train with three babies under foot yelling "mommy, mommy!" One woman has a top rack of teeth missing all but a handful and they argue about scorned friendships...and my heart breaks. 

Hispanic mama bear with her daughter in tow, middle aged father with a curious son, grunge man half asleep, clean cut business man, African American hopelessly in love with an ex-fiancé, and us. What a mix, what a showcase of God's beauty and design. What interesting stories each of us have, parts of them being told as we share a ride together. 

Relaxing in an oasis of forest trees and bright yellow fall leaves. A grown man swinging on a child's playground and interacting with toddlers like he is one himself. 

We lazily stroll on, up the hill, across the cross walk and into a beautiful shelter of roses where we think someone might be getting engaged, but we're not sure. :) I admire the gorgeous hues of the flowers, smelling their sweetness, each so particular to their kind. My very wise husband turns to me and says "if only the hearts of the people could know this kind of beauty." Yes. Amen. That the brilliance of a garden of lush greens and roses would transpire in the hearts of men and women of each of our cities. Because the truth is, Portland is no more broken than my city, or yours. We are all needy, gap-toothed and homeless, a mixture of beautiful and strife all wrapped in flesh. 

Let's allow that to move us towards gratefulness today. Happy Thursday.