After a failed attempt to cancel my trip and stay where it was familiar, I arrived in New York to start my two month stay in the city. I'm embarrassed to type that I was completely terrified (as an adult) to leave home and live in a totally new place.
But I was completely terrified.
After just seven days, I feel much better. The streets are still very busy, the subways stations crowded and the people brisk and hurried, but it's not something that makes me scared anymore. Essentially, I have adapted to my new normal.
The city is wonderful, of course. There are enough restaurants and stores to keep a person occupied all day, every day. There are museums, parks and spectacles everywhere. But I have seen a different side to this fabulous place where I work.
I spend most of my days at a nonprofit that seeks to serve the city's poorest populations, the people that are pushed out for a clearer image of the glamorous city. It is humbling to read their stories, to write them and to know that our world is broken.
Of course, we know this to be true. We see brokenness, we feel it.
There are really painful things that happen everyday. People are hurting everywhere.
So as I'm sitting on my bed thinking about my first week, I'm a little confused at the two cities I've been given. One is bright, clean and beautiful with lots of new things that I will love and admire. The other is a little dirty, a little bruised and full of sad things that need mending. Over the next seven weeks, I'll live in both places. Walk both cities' streets.
I hope that by the end of my time here I will manage to have an accurate picture of both to share. I know that God deeply values beauty and life and pleasure. But I also know that God deeply values the poor, the lonely and the sad. It is my wish that during my time in New York that He will grant me a heart for both, a love and a desire to be His light in each.
I will be blogging once a week for the duration of my time in New York. Pray that God will equip me to see what needs to be seen and do what needs to be done! And come visit, New York truly has so much to offer.