By: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Isaiah 35:1-10
Reflection—v. 8 ‘a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way’

It was in seminary that I first learned about that fabled intentional community, the Open Door. The first time I walked past it, it looked as if life were literally exploding out of its ramshackle doors. There were human beings scattered everywhere throughout its yard, making themselves at home. I cannot help but to conjure up this image every time I walk past the place where the Open Door once stood. That bustling, teeming, organic little home was gutted and razed, and now there stands a bleached-bone white rectangle of apartment-living that I, for certain, could never afford to ‘make home.’ I know this is just the way of things. I know things must die and end and even money can be used for good. Yet every time I walk past that dead and lifeless eyesore, I see the symptom of a malignant sickness pressing down on us with death’s heavy hand and infecting what we hold most valuable. Because what I see is another sign in our neighborhood that says, ‘the poor aren’t welcome here anymore.’ ‘We don’t value you unless you can pay.’ Now, certainly these messages are well-hidden behind graven images of what we actually put our trust in—progress and safety, well-intentioned ideas and systems. But where are we to lay our heads tonight? Like Isaiah, I dream of a day when our sidewalks and parking lots and the streets of our city shall be called a ‘Holy Way,’ a safe space for God’s redeemed to walk and be welcomed with the dignity and love they deserve.

Prayer: Beloved, create safe spaces where we are welcome. Create for us home.

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