*****First a small disclaimer… if you find foul language offensive, of which I do…
then don’t study the picture too closely.
However, I’m thinking that my disclaimer will probably make you a bit curious and
you will study it…so just know I told you so…
The other evening, I was driving in downtown Atlanta, with my daughter-n-law
along with the Mayor and New Sheriff, on our way to try a very talked-about
trendy seafood restaurant.
And you should know that good seafood in Atlanta is not easily come by despite
what many restaurants may claim, so we were excited.
The restaurant is actually located in an area of the city that is attempting a revitalization.
Atlanta is noted as one of many cities across the nation that is attempting to re-claim
its heavily neglected urban areas…sprucing them up while encouraging folks to move back,
shop and visit.
It is in an area that, as a kid growing up, we would never have graced but rather
have driven down to look at the flower children calling the area home.
They lived on the streets, communally, and would occasionally, mass together
while protesting the war.
And driving down to see such was something we’d do during sleepovers—
Parents looking for easy entertainment for a bunch of young kids figured that
driving downtown to see the hippies during that summer of love would be it…
but I digress…
This particular area is now being touted as an up and coming area…
yet it is still rife with dereliction, crime, drugs and many,
many homeless folks despite the opening of high-end apartments, boutiques,
bars, and restaurants.
We passed by many an abandoned building with broken windows,
lots of trash and some empty lots, while a side street was full of vagrants
and homeless folks sheltering in boxes and tents.
And so when we stopped at a red light and I glanced over at a utility box
wearing derogatory graffiti regarding the President,
should I then be surprised given the area?
But such an observation will naturally draw the wrath and the ire of others for my
having associated the area, an area filled with its fair share of rift raft,
with what I find to be foul graffiti regarding the President.
Would it matter if I said I’ve not seen the same foul graffiti when driving in other
family-oriented areas north of the city?
So on a different day, in a different area of the city, in an area that was once home
to many of my mother’s and aunt’s friends when they were growing up—
an early 20th-century family neighborhood that was popular in the 1930s and 1940s…
just as it is popular today but with the houses having been brought up to
chic speed. Really cute older neighborhoods made uber-trendy and most desirable.
We were driving up one of the streets as I was admiring the charm of these once modest
homes that now fetch upwards to $1,000,000. when a homemade sign perched in
one yard caught my eye.
It was a handpainted sign with large black letters scrawled on a neon yellow piece
of poster board. The sign read:
‘Only Nazis and Fascists separate children from their mothers!’
I did a double-take.
“Really?!” I heard myself groaning or was it more like moaning?
Back in the day when my mother and aunt roamed these same streets,
WWII was in full swing.
Flags were flown from every home’s front stoop while the victory gardens were
sprouting out back. Patriotism was part and parcel of the nation’s pain and suffering
in the midst of war and rationing.
During the summer of love, when I was huddled in the back of a family station wagon
with 6 or my closest little friends, as we peered out the window at what was then the
flower children of the late ’60s…peace signs were flashed and posters held high
which read make love, not war.
A nice enough sentiment when our young minds only thought love meant just that…
simply to love one’s neighbor.
Now, as I drive down these very same streets—streets very much the same
and yet very different…
I actually fret over what our young children are reading sprayed on electrical boxes.
Do we want to have to suddenly explain what a Nazi or a Fascist has to do with
the fate of mothers and children to our own impressionable kids who have no idea
what a Nazi or Fascist is?
I think I’d prefer to do so when I thought my wee ones were old enough to comprehend
the complexity of our culture.
And at this rate, I doubt I’ll ever be old enough to understand.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities,
for there is no authority except that which God has established.
The authorities that exist have been established by God.