Among our conversation about standardized testing, debate teachers, spam (the Hawaiian steak), healthy eating, and revelation, we chatted about Winfrey Point last night.
Unofficially, a good chunk of us were in support of #SaveWinfreyPoint.
The good news is – plans have been scrapped to turn some of the fields into boring parking lots. Unfair Park covers the news here.
On a personal note, White Rock Lake is one of the reasons that my wife and I treasure our part of Dallas. We love the Dallas Arboretum too. We are members. I’m grateful that there seems to be a possibility to work all of this out where everyone wins. I’ll repeat what Rev. Dr. Ron Somers-Clark taught us in our congregational workshop about family systems theory – “the only way to get a system unstuck is to have an adventure.” I love the terminology, because it reminds me of my childhood fantasy to live out the Goonies movie. But seriously, when it seems like all options have disappeared and nothing can change, that’s the moment to really go outside of the box and let your creativity fly.
In the case of this issue around White Rock Lake, I have hope that the solution may end up being awesome to everybody.
Yes, I sometimes like to write fancy words.
God of Eternity,
From the depths of the universe,
with swirling maelstroms of light and matter,
to the smallest butterfly, delicate and breathtaking,
you prove to be an Artist.
You reach out with strong hands,
shaping our hearts and renewing our spirits.
Your breath sweeps across the face of Creation,
pushing flowers up in the cracks of our concrete structures.
Though we often abuse the gift of this Earth,
you somehow refresh it,
nurturing life in open seas once smothered with oil,
painting shafts of green in blackened forests,
and nourishing dry lands with quenching rain.
Forgive us, O Creator,
for not always participating in that renewal.
Forgive us for dismissing the proud trees in our neighborhoods,
the shimmering sun dancing across White Rock Lake,
and the vibrant bluebonnets that serve as a playground to human and creature.
Help us understand that Your way is a way of healing and abundance.
Open our eyes to see resurrection as something not just for humankind,
but for all of the earth that groans in anticipation of Your fulfillment.
Guide us as stewards of this Creation
and help us taste, in our own lives, the deep wells of life-giving waters
that bring renewal, balance, and rest.
We pray in the name of our God, Ruler of the Cosmos,
and Friend to All,
Driving up to Oklahoma this past week to be with my mom, I was pleasantly surprised to see the wildflowers growing like mad along the highways. I hadn’t seen them this abundant and colorful since moving to Texas. The notoriously long droughts were part of the reason why, I guess. Anyway, it was fun to catch glimpses of all this color on the median and in the fields rather than count the beef jerky and lawn statue stores like I normally do.
Let’s be honest, Dallas people – we do not have the prettiest city. We have some iconic buildings and distinct neighborhoods. We have lots of cement and asphalt. We have more trees than you realize, but some of our parks are a bit bland. The fact that we break up our city entirely by city streets, I think, reveals what you need to know.
It’s not the end of the world. My wife and I love the part of Dallas we live in, mostly because White Rock Lake is awesome. Every time I drive by it on the way to work, the city seems a little less mundane. We often take the natural wonders of our world for granted, forgetting how much they add to our lives. We forget that the earth itself is a gift, something to be enjoyed and cared for.
This Sunday is our Creation Sunday, where we celebrate the gifts of the earth and challenge one another to be good stewards of it. I’m not the biggest environmental guy in the world, but I want to do my part. I know that sometimes passing by that lake releases some stress from my tired body. I recognize that I am in fact a part of creation, not separate from it. I trust the most important bit from Genesis 1, which is that God created and thought it was good, even humankind.
God’s right – it is good. Celebrate that goodness sometime this weekend, okay?
It’s Holy Week, so I like to image things that might fill in the spaces between Jesus’ journey and work around Jerusalem. Maybe he was excited to head to Jerusalem because he planned on dropping by a favorite bread maker to get that special baked good for the big dinner on Thursday night. Heck, he might have even needed to wait in line, but it was all worth it. The (unleavened) bread was that just that good.
Fast forward to the present, I think Jesus would have to drop by Hypnotic Donuts on his way through town. It’s that good. It’s worth waiting in line for, and their business model and vibe is fun and pleasant. If they were open on Easter, I’ve contemplated bringing in an assortment of donuts to kick start our resurrection celebration. Nothing says Easter like bacon topped donuts. (They aren’t open, by the way. Good for them!) Maybe this week, if you haven’t already tried it, go break bread with these cool people.
I’ve only been in Dallas a little over 3 years now, but even in that short time, the excitement and energy building in some of our neighborhoods has been tremendous. Over here by White Rock Lake, good restaurants are popping up. Greenville Ave is doing well too, and places like the Taco Joint, Bryan Street Tavern, and Pizza Lounge hold the fort down around the church. It’s a good time to be in Dallas.
One of my personal hopes of any community I am a part of is that we do our part to support the local in our neighborhoods. Our pub ministry does just that, especially on a night that is usually not so busy for lots of businesses. We get our usual Sunday donuts from SK Donuts, owned by a caring, joyful family of Korean immigrants. We want to do more with our neighborhood artists. We want to be present at our neighborhood festivals. We don’t want to stay behind our walls.
During this Holy Week then, get out and bless someone. Eat somewhere good. Enjoy the neighborhood in the midst of this sacred week.