Last week I had the opportunity to get away with my wife for a few days. Our travels took us to Hibbing, home town of Robert Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan, and we listend to his classic ballad,
“Gather ’round people wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown.”
While we were out traveling I had the time to reflect on change in my own life.
Change. We experience change everyday, it’s just some days it is more visible, rapid or salient. As Heraclitus stated, “ You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you.”
Change means an ending. I no longer work for the Sanctuary CDC. I could see change coming, but I could not tell what she was wearing. Due to financial concerns I’ve been laid off from the CDC. I leave with no hard feelings, I greatly enjoyed my time there and believe the Sanctuary CDC will continue to bless and impact North Minneapolis in significant ways. For the foreseeable future I will continue to lead “City Matters” – however it will be through the Sanctuary church, there are other roles I will continue to play on a contract basis. I greatly appreciate this community. While some elements have ended I anticipate many other aspects will continue.
Change creates space. A friend and I have a company, “Minne-Mex Construction”. Minne-Mex has been having a very busy fall with painting, siding, decks and such. I now had space to help Minne-Mex more on a day-to-day basis. In the last month I’ve gone from being a “provider of services” to the community, to a laborer in the community. It’s a great space to be in, I see the neighborhood in a slightly different hue. I’ve always felt connected; but working on the same house, interacting with the same neighbors, connecting with other construction workers, puts one in a different place. Watching kids and adults come and go – listening to families interact, from the vantage point of the invisible worker on the ladder, I was both an observer and a participant.
My co-worker is also the majority owner, as the name “Minne-Mex” suggests he is a Mexican immigrant. So the days have been spent listening to a radio station, filled with Mexican music and shout-outs to workers, in construction, cleaning, landscaping and other trades. I was now part of that community, and was listening-in to the daily conversations about good times and hard work – family and friends as well as injustice and struggles. Change allowed me to spend more time in these sacred spaces where I could listen-in on the heart-beat of a unique community.
Change brings new opportunity. This week I begin part-time work with the Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network, as their new Executive Director. They have been around for a few years engaged in several significant programs helping immigrant families and students. . I will begin part-time, even giving some time pro-bono, as this organization moves forward. There are reports to write, grants to prepare all because, more importantly there are deep issues in our state and nation that the immigrant community is facing. I am excited to join with them in confronting what appears to be a growing hostility towards immigrants.
I also am finding new opportunities with churches and organizations, as well as with the Dakota Community and Cross Connections. Opportunities to teach, facilitate, and help individuals and groups in our shared journey as citizens in God’s kingdom and citizens on this earth. Is “Beloved Community” an un-obtainable dream? Or is it somewhere we can learn to reside? And so, yea, if my opportunity and availability intersects with an opportunity you know of… “holla at yo boy!” I continue to look for new ventures, and partly cause I got a family to feed!
Change continues, but relationships are the life-line that inks us together in the river of life!