Posts Tagged ‘Kensington’

What Am I learning in Kensington?

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Quite a journey over the past few years, undertaken with those far kinder and far gentler than I.  What have I learned in Kensington, the neighborhood where most of service has gone this past year?

There are worlds I know nothing of

I grew up rural.  I came of age, professionally suburban. White, upper middle class. Secure. Comfortable.  Issues, tensions around “enough” even though I had/ have plenty.  Far removed from worlds where hunger is real.  Where violence is epidemic.  Where hopelessness seems to hold sway.  And the separation?  A dozen miles or so.

Beneath appearances are people

Walk up to someone, anyone with a smile, some help, and they respond.  Tatoos and all.  They respond.  Consistent gratitude as if we can give them anything but just a nudge that others care.

Addiction is chronic, under-reported, and stigmatized

Less then 80 people a year are attacked by sharks.  In 10 weeks that many die of overdoses to say nothing of those lost to violence and suicide connected to addiction.  Which gets more press, more concern? Google “shark attack north carolina” then google “overdose in kensington.”

God is there

And God is there.  ”The Simple Way” makes sense.  ”St. Francis Inn” makes sense.  ”Angels-In-Motion” makes sense. Walking the Avenue makes sense. God is there.

An Afternoon in Kensington

Friday, May 29th, 2015

“Tensions we manage.  Problems we solve.”  I don’t know there are that many problems we ever truly “solve.”  I do know there are ways to manage the many tensions we face both in ourselves and in our communities.

Spent a sunny, hot Wednesday afternoon with an incredible group.  Tagged along.  Their goal … to serve the addicted and homeless in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, arguably the most blighted and drug infested section of our city.   Not there to solve the problem.  But there to shed a bit of light in the form of small care bags, bottled water, sandwhiches, a kind word.  The kind of light Christ asks to walk in, asks us to offer.

Three “rules” for that walk…. (Secrets of Heaven 1844)

  1. Love God
  2. Love Others
  3. Oppose Hatred
Pretty simple.  And a profound way to move through life.