Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Two Neighborhoods

Yesterday, my day was framed by two neighborhoods. After getting worked by a trainer at Delta Fitness, I came home, recovered, and after a shower, sat down on the couch to eat lunch and watch some TV. As I was flipping channels, I came upon Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood. What a great show!! I was mesmerized. I learned how crayons are made, labeled, packaged, and shipped. It was really interesting stuff. Mr. Rodgers did a drawring with crayons and talked about how if we only think about things, they stay in the world of make believe. He went on to say that sometimes we have to take action on our thoughts...we have to act in the world, not just think and talk about it. He admitted that his picture wasn't amazing, but that drawing it was what it was all about. I sat there and thought about how our offerings to God of time and energy may not be perfect (in fact, I'm pretty sure they aren't) but that it is in doing them that we find some sort of joy. As King Friday was telling Ms. Cow (the teacher in the land of make believe) about his idea for a drawing contest for the people in his kingdom, the phone rang, and I had to come back to the real world.
Then, last night, at our service and mission committee meeting, a woman came and spoke to us about her work at Martha O'Bryan, a local mission in "the black spot of Nashville" as she called it. She talked about children and youth who simply need people to come and read to them. She talked about how so many people on the gulf coast couldn't leave town because it was the end of the month so they didn't have money left to buy a bus ticket. She talked about a neighborhood in which the norm is to drop out of high school. She talked about a girl whose family is shunning her for going to a good college instead of the local Tennessee State.
It was really two different neighborhoods that I encountered, but both Fred Rodgers and Marcia Edwards were calling upon people to act on their thoughts and feelings...to leave the land of make believe and make a difference in the world.
I think that I'll begin using my Fridays as days to volunteer at Martha O'Bryan. It's time to quit talking about revolution and actually get into the thick of it.


Patrick said...

A friend and I once drove too far down 4th Street in Nashville and had to stop and ask directions from a guy sitting on a corner wearing a Sonics jersey. He looked like he wanted to kill us just for asking. Try to stay away from THAT neighborhood.

Alan Bancroft said...

I've already had a couple of those moments. One of them occured while I was trying to find Jennifer Fouse's house. I turned right instead of left. Bad idea jeans for sure. I thought of you the other day, Patrick, as I was walking through the Vanderbilt campus. I kept wondering if I was near the site of any PM Dawn Debauchery. I enjoyed myself just imagining it.

Dan S. said...

Hello Alan. May I also recommend Belmont University's campus. There you will find a decorative cement deer or two on the quad. Have about 12 drinks, and then go ride them like horses. Hooray!

Anonymous said...

did you ever volunteer at Martha O'Bryan?

Alan Bancroft said...

Anonymous-You know, I haven't been to Martha O'Bryan yet. That's right, it's been over a month since I made that statement, and I haven't followed through. Tomorrow morning, thanks to your challenge, I will be calling Martha O'Bryan and finding out what i can do to help. Thanks for the jolt.