Yesterday was quite an eventful day in the North Highland community. The demolition of Cozy Corner apartments began, along with the groundbreaking ceremony for Highland Terrace, a new senior-living facility. In the 14 years that we have lived here, there has never been so much dramatic change in the neighborhood, not to mention that it all occurred on one day. I have known about the coming demolition of Cozy Corner for several months and have talked about it repeatedly with friends both in and out of the North Highland community. I anticipated its coming and assumed that it would be just like any other day where I would drive down 35th street, wave to a few friends and neighbors, and then continue on with my morning routine of getting Jude to preschool.
However, what actually happened shocked me. As I pulled onto 35th street and passed by Cozy Corner, watching as the demolition began, unexpectedly, a sadness came over me as I drove by. I was very confused by this feeling of sadness because just like every other person that lives in North Highland, I am well aware of what often takes place in that building. I’ve heard personal stories from women telling me about the abuse that occurred there, and the drugs that were sold there, and many other acts of violence over the years. So why sadness? It took me the rest of the day and then into my prayer time this morning to finally process why I was feeling that way. What I realized is that instead of celebrating the destruction of something evil, my heart was actually mourning the fact that something had to be destroyed because it was evil. Mankind, and, what mankind creates and builds, was never intended to be that way.
Often times at Highland Community Church we will hold a memorial service for a person who passes away in the neighborhood. These are usually people in the community who for various reasons have found themselves alone at the end of their days. In an effort to show value to every life, the church will hold a service and celebrate the life and memories of that individual. This is our way of communicating to those in our community that no life goes unnoticed by the Lord. So, as seemingly insignificant as this may sound, this is my memorial to Cozy Corner. The lives who lived in that apartment from its beginning to its end did not go unnoticed. The Lord sees. He sees both joy and sorrow, brokenness and fulfillment, violence and peace . He saw it all and He grieved over what Cozy Corner had become in our community. Because His heart grieves, my heart grieves.
My hope continues to rest in the faithfulness of God and today I find my hope in Ecclesiastes 3. “For everything there is a season…a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to tear down and a time to build up…”
What the Lord has seen fit to tear down, may He rebuild according to His purpose and pleasure.