Last night I turned to my husband and said, "It's not really the best time to own a business called 'Why I Love Where I Live', huh?".
He replied, "OR it's the best time."
Despite my doubts, he's right.
Love for where we live does not mean you don't still see and acknowledge the problems. In fact, I've found the more gratitude I have for where I live whether on a national level, city level, or even something seemingly simple like the wildlife we get to see in our desert home, the more I grieve when that place and the people in it are hurting.
There is a different weight to the way we react in hardship when we are truly committed and truly attached to a place - in all of its beauty, glory, faults, and failings. The more you love a place, the more you see its problems; and that's not a bad thing. Let's not be led to believe that being disturbed by many different events taking place in our city, country, or world means we are haters. Much different, we are lovers. Pointing out problems & needs is a sign of love. That can be done in a variety of ways, but often most effectively in the context of relationships rather than on social media.
We want to see people connected to their local community and specific place in meaningful ways. We want to see everyone playing their role in helping where they live flourish. Whether the events in the news motivate you or the smells of creosote in the desert motivate you or perhaps something else entirely, we hope 2021 leads to you pressing in. Press in and get to know where you live in a deeper way. Press in and get to know your neighbors in a deeper way. Press in and address areas of brokenness while simultaneously celebrating the beauty. It can be difficult to hold those two things at the same time, but as I tell my kids, "We can do hard things together."
Find what motivates you, and keep pressing in. May you be drawn further into a commitment to see where you live flourish for the good of all people this year. Everyone has a part to play.
(Originally posted 1/8/2021)