The other evening as I drove home from a friend’s house I was overwhelmed by the darkness around me. First, there was the physical darkness – blocks seem to have their streetlights turned off randomly throughout my neighborhood creating dark streets that house uncertainties and possess an eerie feeling. There is also a spiritual darkness, a darkness that permeates the lives of those in these neighborhoods impacting all of us with its oppression.
On my way home I passed one women working as a prostitute, this woman has been one of the girls I have seen fairly often in that particular area over the past couple of years. As I sat and waited for the light to turn green and to move along, I began to think about the young woman standing on the corner, wondering what her life is like, who she is, etc. After a few blocks I heard the familiar sounds of a gun firing multiple shots; shortly after, sirens screamed and emergency vehicles flew past. As I neared my home I approached a large group of teenagers yelling at one another, one had a pit bull and was threatening to let him loose. My mind swarmed with thoughts, processing all that I had seen in such a short amount of time. As I parked my car and walked quickly through the dark street to my apartment I felt discouraged wondering what would change this, what would bring hope and peace to the neighborhoods. It’s easy to become angry and to let that anger join in with the yelling and fighting, to becoming bitter and disheartened. The quote by Martin Luther King Jr. came to mind as I was tossing ideas around in my head, and while bringing light into situations is gradual and doesn’t have such a big initial impact as some reactions might, this is what in fact drives darkness out.