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The Streets Full of Noise

July 8, 2016

Last night, and the night before, the streets were full of noise.  Here, where we live now, it is because of completed and passed exams.  College degrees are highly valued and difficult to obtain – they are expensive and results are hard to come by – so a completed degree is valued, and a passed exam is partied in the streets.  There are whistle blows until the early hours, along with whooping, hollering, and horn honking.  The graduates’ heads and faces are covered in flour, a stark contrast to their dark skin, for this achievement may well be the highlight of their lives.  Jobs, even with a degree, are few and far between.  And whether or not they pay a living wage remains to be seen.  We are having a sudden shift toward inflation here, and fear is bubbling just under the surface.  The exchange rate has been a steady 930 franc congolaise per US dollar for years.  It hadn’t changed between our terms here, and suddenly it is over 1000.  But, the past two nights, the noise in the streets has been joyful.

Last night, in the last place we lived, there was an exuberant fest as France footballers brought their country to victory in the semi-finals.  I really know nothing more than the next step is to beat Portugal in the finals and win the cup.  Yeah, I don’t know which cup, but I can imagine the noise.  So much rejoicing in the streets, all night long.

Then, there was the noise last night in our passport country.  The past three nights, the streets are filled with fear and confusion.  The good guys and the bad guys can no longer be defined, but some would say they are defined by race.  Are white cops bad?  Are black guys bad?  I wasn’t there, I can’t say.  But it is the unknown that strikes fear into everyone.  Every black guy has to wonder if he should fear that one white cop who lumps him with an imagined group of thugs.  Every white cop has to fear whether he will be shot for a cause by a hurting individual.  The noise in the streets in the US is there, it may not be heard out of every window, but it troubles the hearts of so many.  And what does it mean for the future?

Every place we’ve lived experienced something in the past two days to shout in the streets about.  The streets have been flooded with emotion and noise.  I only wish it were all for good reason.  I turn my eyes toward Heaven, where golden streets will be filled with the same level noise, but not over a football victory, or an exam passed that may or may not lead to a more sturdy future in an uncertain land, or the questionable death of people in the public spotlight because justice is lost on the system…but because we will be praising a loving God, who has rescued us from the depravity…God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:3-5-ish)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2016 0829

    Thank you for bringing poignant perspective to the causes for noisy streets around the world, and for putting a smile on my face as you turned my thoughts to future noisy streets where every shout will come from a heart overcome with gratitude for our Savior’s love. Beautifully written.

  2. July 8, 2016 0829

    Thank you for your blogs! I appreciate each one. You are quite the writer. Yes, it was a night of celebrating for the exams. Here, we are having noise in the streets but not happy noise. God bless America at this confusing time. I, too am looking forward where all things will be made new.

  3. Judy Pankow permalink
    July 10, 2016 0829

    Well said! It’s so true when we know our Lord and Savior. We have nothing to fear!

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