On a Street Called Humanity

Somewhere between Pleasure and Treasure and Abundance, there runs a street called Humanity. On a good day, echoes of traffic from the I-610 bounce off nearby buildings, a constant reminder that you are never really alone. If you walk down a few blocks, you run into Music and Arts, although you never have to go too far in this city to hear jazz, that sensuous blend of rhythm and melody, that song of the soul that was born here.

Way back before the world turned upside down and everybody forgot this little street existed, children played in the yards, women hummed while they washed their clothes, air conditioners waged a valiant battle against summer heat. Men worked on their cars in the street and dogs barked when strangers walked past. Teenagers formed a cluster on the corner, an adolescent huddle of shoulders, desperate to keep the outside world out and the inside world in.

On a street called Humanity, people looked forward to tomorrow.

Until the day tomorrow came.

Storms rage through our world on a daily basis, some we can prevent, but most we have no control over. How we respond to those storms is another story—it’s the dark and scary basement of the human spirit, that journey to the secret place where courage is found. Survival requires courage, but so do kindness and compassion.

I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I want to go. I want to see the Spanish moss dripping from ancient trees, I want to smell the fragrant spice of Creole cooking, I want to hear the syncopated heartbeat of zydeco.

I want to walk down the street called Humanity, a silent prayer on my lips for the people brave enough to stay in the place they call home.

Photo by Troy Snow, courtesy of the book, Not Left Behind.

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