I’m a dreamer when it comes to this neighborhood I live in. I admit it. I have a hope that it really will someday be characterized by stability, justice, opportunity and faith (that’s also our ministry vision statement for those who don’t know it) instead of poverty, degradation, pain, injustice and dependence. I know, it’s a dream. Another dream is that kids and youth that we work with will grow up, be successful contributing members of society, and then move back into our neighborhood. It’s the “move back” that’s a dream, because no kid in our neighborhood sets that as their goal. That’s part of the problem in a neighborhood like ours – when anyone “makes it” they get out as fast as they can.
But today I had a tiny little itty bitty encouragement. A young lady who used to live across the street and come to UC for Bible study (when she wasn’t playing basketball and studying and tutoring and whatever) stopped by my house. She looked so grown up that I almost didn’t recognize her. We talked a bit about her family and then I turned the conversation to being about her.
She’s a sophomore at Wright State and tells me it’s crazy hard sometimes. She told me that although she’s a psychology major, she’s considering a change to social work. Why? Because she’d like to work in a neighborhood like ours, helping people. And yes, she’s even considering moving back… making THIS the neighborhood that she works in. She said it with a smile on her face, too.
Don’t you dare burst my bubble with the fact that she’s only a sophomore and she’ll probably change her mind and her major a few more times before she’s done. I don’t want to hear it. I’ll just keep dreamin’.