Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Reflections in the face of deep grief

[A couple of weeks ago, a homeless woman and friend to CitySquare was murdered under an I-45 bridge near our new Opportunity Center.  What follows are the reflections of one of our team leaders here at CitySquare.  Jonathan knew Ava well, as his sentiments reflect.  What he says speaks to the faith of our team and the hope of our community.]

Hello all. I arrived at work this morning to find your kind and thoughtful card on my desk. Thank you for your thoughts and offer to help during this time. I am still cycling through different emotions for Ava and the homeless community around the OC. I am angry, then sad, then strangely at peace. Some staff, volunteers, and neighbors are going to meet with me soon to discuss how we can best honor Ava and do our part to create a safe space for our friends in this area, especially under the I 45 overpass. I am reminded of a scene from the movie The Shawshank Redemption. If you have seen the film you will be familiar with the scene during which Andy plays a record of two women singing over the prison PA system. This landed him in solitary but it was worth it to him. It reminds me that there are moments of great beauty, of transcendent truth even in the reality of the ugliness we face every single day. Ava was a person of great beauty. She made this dark world brighter and we are missing more than a friend, we are missing sunlight. I have faith that Ava has been welcomed into a kingdom that has been prepared for her and for all of us since the beginning of time and that as I write this she is comforted and renewed by God. I have faith that this is the destiny of all of us. Thank you all for the work you do and for how much you love and care for our neighbors. I cannot wait for you all to move over here and to see you every day. You are a blessing in my life and a constant source of strength.

Rev. Jonathan Grace
Pastor and Lead Neighbor Relations Specialist

Opportunity Center
1610 S. Malcolm X
Dallas, TX 75226


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