504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On Jesus and the Neutral Ground

It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway that this has been a remarkable week in New Orleans. The world champion, Super Bowl winning, proud warriors of the Who Dat Nation, New Orleans Saints came home to a crowd of 30,000 simply to greet their flight from Miami and an estimated 800,000 Who Dats gathered for the victory parade.

Over and over common folks and talking heads alike used the phrase, "this has brought us all together." It is about time.

New Orleans has medians in the middle of the beautiful boulevards throughout the city which we call "the neutral ground" a label that goes back to a time when the neighborhoods and sub-sections of the city were divided by these wide streets. The division went way deeper than the streets--the parts of the city (the French Quarter, the Irish Channel, Carrollton, the Bywater) were home to a particular ethnic group and people who weren't residents of each neighborhood simply didn't go in the area at all.

The leaders would meet on the "neutral ground" to discuss matters of importance to both communities. As the years went by and the neighborhoods became ethnically mixed (to a point), the neutral ground was no longer a place of negotiation and dialog.

I think I need to seek to focus on the neutral ground again instead of the boulevard. Maybe we can look for a place of negotiation and dialog rather than a boundary around our community. The Saints have showed me that once we identify some common ground, we can move on to other ideas and beliefs in a spirit of love and trust--community--rather than to be separated by the things that traditionally and wrongly convince us that we can't get along.

I spend way too much time in my relationships, both close and casual identifying things that irritate me because they aren't the way I would say it, do it, or avoid it. I think Jesus would hang out on the neutral ground.

I need to hang out there too. I think that Jesus can bring folks together.

Who Dat.

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