Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why "We Are Nashville" Can't End With Flood Clean-Up

Just after the rains ended, Patten Fuqua wrote a blogpost that inspired a city called, "We Are Nashville." It's a great piece that you can read here:

What this simple phrase has done is unite a city behind an idea that we are more than the sum of our parts and while we are individuals, we are part of a greater whole, we have a collective identity as a city that draws us together. These are ideas that we saw in the US after the 9/11 tragedy. These are ideas that Christians need to grasp at a greater level in finding our identity as the body of Christ.

There have been bumper stickers, t-shirts, posters, and more t-shirts created as a part of this. A good friend of mine expressed some doubt about a tragedy being remembered with a t-shirt, which I think is an idea that has some merit. A tragedy where 23 people died shouldn't be souvenir-ized into a t-shirt.

But if it's not so much a souvenir, but a sign of a unity of purpose that Nashvillians can have, that's a sign of something. If it's something that galvanizes people to action to care for others, that's when it becomes something bigger.

And here's where I'm going with this. "We Are Nashville" has to last longer than flood recovery. There's something about a tragedy that brings people together. When we see our neighbors' houses flooded. We can't help but want to do SOMETHING... ANYTHING. But here's the truth. There is tragedy every day in this city. Every day, a child goes hungry. Every day, people go home to a house that is unlivable. Every day, there is hurt and pain and suffering on a scale that I as an upper/middle-class white man doesn't usually have eyes to see.

The spirit/Spirit behind "We Are Nashville" is something that can push us to a higher purpose. One that goes out and seeks what we can do to help the people who don't have, but who desperately need help. And we as Christians have to be at the forefront of this. If we're not, and we slink back into our brick-housed ghettos, then we have failed, and all "We Are Nashville" is a call to action to get ourselves back to where we were and not to help lift up our neighbors as well.

1 comment:

John Dobbs said...

Wonderful thoughts Phil...I hope that idea catches on as vividly as the first one did. God bless.

Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro