I hear the sirens again. It is common background noise in this “rough” bit of city associated with LA. I wonder what’s happening this time. I have seen the police responding several times on my street. One time they were searching a neighbor, interrogating. Another time responding to a break-in, something gang-related. There were hopes that a gang bust might be on the horizon. And then there was the police response to the young man who died overnight in the apartment across the street. I prayed for the twenty-something brother left behind.
I don’t live in the “bad” part of the city. I feel safe. A large majority of people around me are white-collar. But there is much that happens in a neighborhood with 1864 households packed into less than one fifth of a square mile. At the park 3 blocks away I meet a Sri Lankan family playing cricket, hear moms speaking to their children in Khmai (Cambodian) and Spanish, witness African-Americans greet each other as “brother” and have opportunity to meet people who slept on the benches overnight. Online I find a reference to my neighborhood as part of the “hood.” I am 1 1/2 blocks up from the dividing line of reputation, 1/2 a block south of the street known to be a magic wardrobe into the really dicey stuff. Some people would feel it too close for comfort. I have a vision to see that dividing line taken away.
The sirens remind me that there’s a world of need outside my door. They beckon me to get out of my peaceful place behind locks and latches, and walk further up and further in. They call me to a place of intercession, to pray for protection and redemption. The sirens are a call to Kingdom. I want to be there…in the midst…when the Kingdom comes.