Friday, July 30, 2010

The Dichotomy of Life

Waking up at 5:00am to gunfire from a neighboring apartment complex is definitely a unique way to start the week.  While the full details have not been released yet, it appears a domestic disturbance lead to one party going outside to fire off a few rounds with the end result being the shooter either turned the gun on himself or was hit by his own ricocheting bullet. 

Unsettling, Disturbing, Frustrating, Sad. 

It reminds me of what Nicholas Wolterstorff wrote in his book "Lament for a Son" that "Shalom is the fullness of life in all dimensions.  Shalom is dwelling in justice and delight with God, with neighbor, with oneself, in nature.  Death is Shalom's mortal enemy.  Death is demonic.  We can not live at peace with death."

Having worked with college students for over 8 years now, it no longer surprises me that the people and places that often seem the most stable and normal are often operating under a facade of shalom.  And without a solid grounding in Christ, that facade easily crumbles. 

This shooting, if anything, has reminded me that I really do love this neighborhood.  In fact, sometimes I think we were called to this neighborhood just as much as we were called to work for InterVarsity.  We've lived here for almost 4 years now and I've come to love the many quirks about the neighborhood.  From the random community garden that I've become a part of to the neighbors who shoot off fireworks almost every night in July, from the kids who wait for the school bus every morning to the amazing display of yellow leaves during the fall, from the kids camp next door that screams "good morning" at 8:30am summer mornings to the smells of 100's of BBQ's on the first warm day of spring. 

It's a fun neighborhood and a place where despite it's sometimes darker side, I still feel safe in.  I guess that's the dichotomy of a life in Christ. I do long for a true Shalom to descend on this neighborhood.  And that's something I can keep praying for.

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