As the early summer has gone on – through Memorial Day, and Independence Day – and looking outside from the inside, at skies blue, and scudding clouds, and the dawning awareness that I am at home in Minneapolis for a reason, and NOT in my canoe on the lake I love, but in the encroaching city with its angry heart, and its volatile spirit, that I am called to hear God’s invitation to take a step toward the downtown mayhem. and the despairing shop-keepers, and the young and loud marchers and find the friends of the long years who will talk with me and tell me who I need to be, and what I need to do, and figure out what I need to give – of myself, and what I know, and where I’ve been, and with whom I need to stand.
I have black friends. Long-time. We’ve worked together. We are in touch. One of them lunched with me. “Arthur,” he said, “at my northside church we’re having some meetings. We’re calling them ‘Rap on Culture.” We’d like you to come, to join the conversation, to see what we might do, together.”
So we went, this week, Molly and I together, to the church, circling the neighborhood several times to find a way into their parking lot. No cars. I phoned my friend. He was there, and came out to greet us.
We looked around a little at the church, heard some of the plans from our friend, found the Pastor’s Study, and just talked for an hour.
Our friend explained that the pastor was an advisor to the Police Union, and to the Police Chief, and that he is much in demand as a representative of the black community as the issues and ideas go back and forth about the future of the city. We talked. We prayed together. And then it was over.
We will find a way for a small cluster of their folks, and the same of our folks to meet together to take that tenuous first step toward friendship in Christ, praying that the Holy Spirit will draw us together and slowly create the “tie that binds,” leading to doors of opportunity through which we can walk together.
“Slowly by slowly,” as the Africans say. Feeling our way. Recognizing good will, and good faith, and possibilities offered by our King Forever, Who alone has the answer for any of our lives, and any of our communities, and surely – any of our cities.
And, all of us who care, can pray for each other, and for the emergence of right and faithful steps that may more and more look like God-sent answers for His “City of Lakes,” high on the great River that rolls down through middle America and could become that “Old Man River” bent on calling us all together, from East and West, North and South.
Pray for the River to become that in these critical days of possibility.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES