I have always hated big cities. The lights and the incredible masses of people do not fill me with inspiration as it does others. These may be because I expected New York to be like the movies; old Victorian style apartments sprouting tiny little window boxes. I would think of the scenes of central park in the summer and thought city life to be a magical thing.
The hard truth is, it smells like the dirt of millions continually being trekked over oily streets with a mixture of smoke and trash scents overhead. But the first thing my mind jumps to when I think of cities are the crumpled figures blackened with the continual grim limp against the walls of great buildings. I think of the pigeons that are missing feet and hobble with broken wings around these forgotten people.
I hate cities because I see this and walk past.
On Saturday I sat in the temple with the faces of the people Cami helped right before my eyes. Every detail perfectly stored and recorded. I could see the pealing skin, burnt by the sun. I could see the clothes, warn black sweater and faded navy t-shirt. I could see their eyes, and the darkness, and stillness that went way down.
I wished I was able to love fully and without thought like Cami can, but I didn't.
It was then that I remembered walking in a long red coat through Victoria station in England. My dad and I walked down the stairs to the tube and passed a women begging on the stairs. As we passed I saw a preacher on his way to the same train stop and hand her a mars bar. He was singing slightly, and didn't wait to be rewarded. He was a great example to a young child.
I feel strongly that the poor and the afflicted that the Savior always helped were no different than those who fill the streets of every city. We always say in our heads that "They will probably go use drugs with this money." I often find myself thinking it was easier for the Savior because the people didn't have the same motive that they do now. But deep down I think I know that good has always been good, and bad has always been bad. I think human weakness has always been, but that was not why the Savior did or didn't do things. He invited all to follow, not to leave.
There are beautiful things that abound in every city, but oh how the dark things lurk to remind us who is ruler over the hearts of men.
I am so grateful to be close to Cami to see the purity of the saviors love that swells in her heart. I have seen his face in her actions. I hope we can say as the scriptures, "all is not well in Zion," for we still walk past each other cardboard signs or not, with out stoping.
Here's to second chances.