A Time to Speak and a Time to Love Neighbors like they Matter

Thankful for the opportunity to write an article for the Reformed African American Network (RAAN), reflecting on the heart of the gospel and the love of neighbor. The beginning paragraphs follow. Please read the full article at RAAN.

My husband and I live east of the Anacostia River in Washington D.C. The area, roughly 20 square miles in size, is over 90 percent black. A single IHOP and a Denny’s serve as its major full-service restaurants. There are no high-end department stores, but discount clothing and dollar stores can be found. There are no movie theaters, few parks, and a dusting of grocery stores. There are no colleges, but plenty of liquor stores.

“Greater Anacostia,” as some refer to it, is not the community I was supposed to live in. I grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland (Forbes’s 10th richest in 2012) in a diverse residential neighborhood. I attended a nationally-recognized high school and the only gunshots I heard were on episodes of “Law and Order.”

From this “safe zone,” I heard stories of Southeast Washington D.C.—another world 40 minutes from mine: a terrible place where drug dealers stood on corners, surveying cars and pedestrians with direct and determined stares. It was a place where sirens called back to gunshots at night while people wondered what news the morning would bring; a place where cops were as familiar to sidewalks as fire hydrants. It was a place where I never dreamt I would belong.

Please read the full article at RAAN.