Last night we watched fireworks, standing on the front step of the house we have begun living in since moving to St Louis almost two weeks ago.  fireworksWe saw the flashes.  A second later, heard the booms, crackles.  Sharp reports.

The house is in the western suburb of Ballwin, where we are now learning our bearings.  Many other Salvation Army officers around the USA are doing the same.  New roads, stores, neighbors, routines.

Several miles to the east in St Louis, sharp reports.  Benton Park West.  John tells us that the past two weeks have been shooting days in his neighborhood.

On two different ocassions, two young men, shot in the back.  John has become attuned to hearing shots, distinguishing the direction they come from, detecting patterns, developing valuable wisdom as to where, when and how to show up and move about his neighborhood.

John waited to drive home.  Shooting season combined with the 4th means exercising prudence as to when you return home.

On the night before the Fourth of July my phone rang as I was headed down the grocery aisle for eggs.  Auxiliary Captain Steve Diaz.  He was checking to see if John was with me, hoping John would know where their missing van was.  It wasn’t where they had parked it.


Moving in, living in the neighborhood.  Learning our bearings.  Bearing the challenges and burdens of that new life.  It varies, doesn’t it?  I see fireworks.  He hears gunshots.  Who took the van.

I’ll get the car washed today.  It’s about time.  I hope I also remember to pray for recovery of a missing van.