March 29, 2021 | By tj

Take Me Back

I grew up in the 80’s/90’s… yes before cell phones, OMG what did we even do with ourselves? WE LIVED. We valued other humans. We laughed.  We climbed trees and jumped in creeks and played ball. We had large meals together at church and we used to visit the local buffet with our families. Have you heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child?” Let’s just say it took the entire village to raise me, My mother, grandparents, coaches, teachers, yes, all of them. Growing up in community was such a beautiful thing, and we understood something important, we cannot do this life alone and do it well, we need each other.


As cell phones began to advance with access to the internet and social media apps, I’ve noticed a huge shift in how we live as a society, mainly that people aren’t beautiful to us anymore, our phones are everything. Next time you’re at a red light look around, EVERYONE is on their phone. I know it sounds crazy, but we need courage, courage to live again, courage to not let these devices run our lives, consume our time, and dictate our every move. We need courage to get off social media, courage to discover the beauty of relationships again, and courage to recapture the beauty of life.


Working at Neighborhood Hope, I see some of this courage happening, but maybe in places you wouldn’t necessarily think as a “healthy community”. When I pull into one particular community in East Charlotte, this is what I typically see: kids riding bikes, neighbors talking on the porch, the smell of an old charcoal grill, a basketball game on the court, kids playing tag, I see community. Is the neighborhood perfect, no. There are short comings in this community much like every other one. Yet, there is a beauty coming from the unexpected and I’m so hopeful that true community can be recaptured.


What about you? How are you going to come alive again? When is the last time you rode a bike? When is the last time you did something from your childhood that you used to enjoy? DO IT! Form a new relationship, take a fast from social media (you’ll be just fine, I promise). I don’t know about you, but when I lay on my deathbed one day, I want people around me, not technology. Find the balance, don’t stop until you do, but most of all, come alive. Life is short, and there is beauty waiting to come forth from us who are made in the image of God, so whatever you do, value relationships above all and find out what it means, to live.


One of the beautiful things.