“The Soul of Our City” is the name of a category of posts on this site that will be devoted to pictures of our city. The goal is to see the depth of humanity in our neighbors and the riches of grace God is extending to us all.

This sort of thing has an apostolic precedent. St. Paul found himself in Athens without really intending to go there. Escaping some trouble Jesus had gotten him into in some other towns, he was dropped off and told to wait until the storm blew over.

He was unacquainted with Athens, though he had no doubt studied the city’s history and known much of its reputation. He found the local synagogue, as well as the local hangout for the philosophers. He got to know the city well enough to see that it was full of idols. He was grieved, yet he also found in the idolatry an opportunity for the gospel. And when he had the chance to talk with the locals, he began with what he had observed in their idolatry, their philosophy, and their poetry. He found pieces of goodness, truth, and beauty already present in Athens, and these became occasions for his mission.

So this new category is devoted to that same missionary pursuit of getting acquainted with a city. This a place to document our town, with pictures we take and those we find. Each post will hopefully contain an image along with a description from the artist. Some of what we see may grieve us, as Paul was grieved in Athens. But we should be able to find goodness, truth, and beauty as well, springboards for the gospel message, places where God’s Spirit is already at work.

The pictures on here so far have been shamelessly stolen off the internet in the hope that they will quickly be replaced by images we’ve created. This is to be a place for us to truly see our city and our neighbors and prayerfully remember them.

Most of all, these pictures are prayers like the one Langston Hughes wrote, called “Litany”:

Gather up
In the arms of your pity
The sick, the depraved,
The desperate, the tired,
All the scum
Of our weary city.
Gather up
In the arms of your pity.

Gather up
In the arms of your love–
Those who expect
No love from above.