Friday, October 7, 2011

Shadowed Reflection

The views in Chicago are impressive—captivating!

I do not tire of seeing the tall buildings, the parks, the lakefront, the museums, the free performances and occasionally the not-at-all free theatrical plays and concerts. I like going to the baseball games—at both parks and remembering the Michael Jordon basketball years. I like going to Moody Bible Institute and worshipping in the services and attending sacred concerts in other Chicago churches. I like the bridges and the views from standing on them and looking down the river. I like so many of the restaurants and delicatessens and shops—both big and impressive stores and small family owned businesses. I like Navy Pier and Millennium Park. I like the flowers and the scenes from all of the different seasons.

I even like Chicago in the rain.

I like seeing Chicago from the view of a pedestrian on walking tours and from up high in the tall buildings and from a ship on the lake, on bicycle and Segway.

I like taking the train, and figuring out how to get around on foot and sometimes just getting places by taxi.

Recently I drove the car on some personal business and felt a sense of accomplishment at getting around on my own and finding a place to park the car. I liked walking and taking the escalators. I felt small and intimidated and wide eyed and thankful and relieved and glad and proud all at the same time.

Mostly though, I like going to the city with friends or family. I love experiencing things together.

Wednesday was a gorgeous day in Chicago. Six of us had participated in a You Swoop deal and were privileged to see Chicago from the river perspective in kayaks.

We loved hearing Charlie our Waterider tour guide recite poetry and tell some of the Chicago story.

Later we enjoyed the romance of the city, eating outside at Erie Park served by Erie Café.

We looked over the Chicago River that we had just kayaked observing tourist boats, more kayaks and rowing crew after rowing crew in a peaceful, delightful setting watching the sun go down with good friends.

My hubby whispered, “Does it get any better than this?”

I did so enjoy the whole experience and yet I could not let go of some of the stories told by Charlie. Unfortunately, much of Chicago’s history is sordid—stories of greed, and crime and corruption and sin. Some places on the river were foul smelling and disgustingly polluted with trash and better viewed from a distance—not all of course but some. I sadly acknowledged a different perspective of the city. I wondered how God sees Chicago—like Sodom and Gomorrah? It left me conflicted.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7

I’ve been reflecting on the experience for a couple of days now. What do you think?


Rebecca said...

I like Chicago, also. That last picture is beautiful. I've often thought I'd enjoy living there (again).

Now that you've brought up how God might look at the city....I'm thinking of Jesus' love for Jerusalem (maybe for another reason than we like Chicago...but).

He longed to see it redeemed.

I think cities are just concentrated and magnified versions of humanity in general.

The days are evil...we're to redeem the time. Cities may be "evil"...we can "redeem" the smaller units of the city by enjoying what is good, protecting and preserving creation/nature, and doing what we can to prevent corruption at every level.

(Just a quick response...not too well thought out.)

I love seeing Chicago through your eyes. You find the most unique avenues for exploring it!

Brenda said...

Rebecca, Thanks for your helpful, appropriate, wise response.

Donna's Book Nook said...

Thanks for the great tour of Chicago! I liked Chicago when I went to school in Oak Park (MANY moons ago!).

I appreciated both your comments (and Rebecca's). It does give you reason to ponder.

I haven't read blogs for about 2 weeks--I'm on my way home from OKC.