I see you, Spokane.
I see your smiles and waves and the way your breeze brings an appreciated respite from your hot summer days. I see your street fairs and parks dotted all over in your attempt to get people to like each other again. I see your tired houses, weary from a hundred years of progress and your sparkly sidewalk downtown – because, girl, you have a fun side.
I see your sweet shops, breathing life buildings whose intent died long ago. I see your lights illuminate the parts you’re most proud of: the universities, the park you remodeled, the strip of big-businesses. I see your splash pads and playgrounds; things that couldn’t have been cheap, but were worth it to you for after-school play. I see your heart for community, for togetherness and for good.
But I also see the young who look old because parts of you have succumbed to the cancer of drug addiction. I see the debris on the streets just a block from my house where children find needles and adults don’t notice. Your weak arms trying to carry the burden of negligent parents and preying vultures. I see your heart ache while you endure another car alarm, endless broken glass, more blood crying out from your earth.
I see your struggle here, your failing. And I see your coming triumph. I see Jesus breaking through your cracked streets. Your giving up resulting in grassroots that firm deeper than the City Council. I see East Sprague turning down Johns and welcoming Pauls. I see hope in the mess, in the run-down buildings you’ve ignored. I see light where you’re afraid to shine it now.
I see you, Spokane. For what you are and what you can become. And I love you.