Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mayflowers in Memphis

Yesterday, driving to my office, I saw something I knew I had to return to today, camera in hand.

This is two blocks from my office. My office in the part of town so many people won't come to. Since I began working there almost four years ago, at least three murders have made the news, all occurring within less than a mile from our building.

It is a very poor area. It is largely a racially segregated area. It is a part of town that got split in half by plans for an interstate that in the end was not finished. It is an area with more than its fair share of trouble, for many reasons.

And yet as I have written earlier, there is beauty here. Beauty in the people who live here, beauty in the people who are working to make things better, beauty in the hope and faith that refuse to give in to all the problems.

And so I had to photograph these flowers. They are blooming next to litter, in a lot between the failed interstate (now a partial bypass) and the house where one of the horrible murders occurred.

They are part of why I love my job!

Here is what the flowers see if they look north from their position.

The gutted building you can see is the old elementary school building. At one time we hoped to buy it and rennovate it, but it proved too expensive an endeavor.

A church on our street does, however, use part of the building (a part that does have windows) for outreach ministry to the neighborhood--a food pantry, making clothing available--and today I heard that we may start partnering with them to offer counseling through their ministry.

Flowers can grow just about anywhere, as long as there's good soil, light, and water. And hope and faith. I'm sure even flowers need those in some way.


abellanapoli said...

dearest sheila, so glad you are home even though i miss the beauty and companionship you brought while on your travels to me. i hope and pray to see beauty as you do, as Jesus did, all around me. you are joy, light, and beauty yourself and i am thankful to God you are my sister in Him!!! i love you!

Sheila said...


I love and miss you, too! I think any light and beauty you saw in me was not me, but Him shining through me....which gives me joy....