My Philadelphia Prayer

Artist, Robert Indiana

It’s cold and rainy in Philadelphia. Close to the end of the year! My sweet husband has made dinner reservations for New Year’s Eve in Center City. I’m looking forward to walking shoulder to shoulder with people who are just as crazy as we are to go out of the house on New Year’s Eve. Who would miss the opportunity to hear frustrated drivers who can’t find parking or the women who are slaying that outfit, but can’t walk so well in those nice heels! Or the homeless guy who just wants to be your friend for five minutes, just to feel like he belongs (because he does) or the folks who are still trying to get home because their bosses wouldn’t allow them to leave early. Excitement will fill the air!

In July of 2020, it will be three years since we’ve moved to Philadelphia. I came kicking and screaming. I had never visited Philadelphia before living here. It was not a place that was, should I say, inviting. At least that’s what I got from family and friends who once visited or lived here. I accept that I would just figure out how to adapt and somehow life would just go on, in spite of living in Philadelphia. I didn’t expect what happened next.

I fell in love. I love Philadelphia. Seriously, I don’t know when it happened but, yes, I love Philadelphia. I love the parks, the bike and walking trails, the color of flowers that bloom in spring. I love the museums, Kimmel Center and the local theaters. I love the history. I love the people. Philadelphians, not sure if that is the proper name or not….but I gotta say, they have heart here. I have found myself being part of community that serves it’s brothers and sisters with love. And unfortunately, there are parts of community where violent crimes have caused over 300 deaths this year. This hurts! Philadelphia, you are better than this. Because what I have witnessed so far is that Philadelphia really has good folks who want the best for their city. I have seen neighbors working together to end gun violence, I’ve marched with women who seek that all children have a right to fair funding for education. I’ve sat in a temple and heard stories from immigrants who felt safe enough to share their stories. And I’ve received blueberry dumplings from a woman who heard me say how much I missed this southern dish.

Yes, I love Philadelphia. It is a great city with great people and of course, we can’t forget about those Eagles, right? Well? Ok, I’m still trying to understand the football fans, but hey, they’re passionate about their team, so respect!

My prayer for this great city is to recognize your greatness! My prayer for this amazing city is to appreciate the people here who have struggled with you when others have denounce your existence. My prayer for this historic city is that you hold on to the different ethnicities which makes this city vibrant and alive. My prayer is that this city will hold on to her children and fight for them no matter their zip codes. My prayer is that brotherly and sisterly love be the trueness of who you are because people like me love to call you “home”.

It’s good to be here.