There is much in New York that isn’t clear. What I am about to say is, in reality, actually true in any and every community, yet it is the heart of what many have come to expect from New York. A person’s word is like the hustler on 14th Street, at least in the old days before they moved to Queens. A man’s bond was only found near the jail at City Hall. Even a straight answer could only be discovered if you asked the right question from someone who was new. Manipulation was the name of the game. Words rarely have their meaning, sentences reach a different conclusion, and personal responses often feel like they have been choreographed by an unknown maestro.
It isn’t that New York or any other community is bad. Not everyone manipulates, though one might have to define the term explicitly to be sure. We live in competitive communities made more so by our perceptions, fear, and needs to be a part of something. Symptoms show themselves in an insatiable desire to win, a willingness to compete is and at everything, and a belief that only a few make it to the goal. If I look myself in the mirror it is easy to see how I have carried the disease for years, if not all of my life.
I have found a few exceptions. There are examples of God living, surviving, and even thriving in this community. I met God on West 3rd and Sixth Avenue a week ago. I discovered God in music in places I least expected. I even found myself walking along side God in the course of work. At first I was stunned. I have come to realize just how clear God is about where Divinity dwells. In that place it is clear for any and all to see that “God makes all the decisions here. God is our king. God runs this place and he'll keep us safe.” (Isaiah 33.22)
Today is my chance to transparently show the God I hold closest to my heart.
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