Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Light Amidst the City

Written at the end of first email reflection sent out from Chile on January 17th, 2012. 

Slowly I will find incomplete answers to these questions even as more spring up, and yet I do not believe in a God of coincidence but rather in a God of Love. A God whose love brought me to this place to prepare me and use me. For God has heard 'el pueblo' cry , heard it cry from the inequality of schools in Chile, to the empty bowls of the indigenous poor in Guatemala, heard it cry from the tears of ravaged mothers in East Los Angeles to the unfulfilled dreams of dreamers in East Harlem, and God has and slowly continues to use weak, calloused hearts and hands like my own and your own in the creation of a kingdom of love and justice. Many of these kindred hearts I have already come in contact with here in Chile, hearts in which I will rest, learn, and be born a new to my own calling. Pray my brothers and sisters back in Los Angeles and across our world that I might have the courage to every morning begin a new by offering my calloused hands in this majestic project, and offer your hands with me as well. This common endeavor  is the greatest testament to our connectedness, and will transform our world. 

Know that you are all deeply loved and carried. 


I leave you with a poem I wrote after a long day of community organizing in East Los Angeles, a poem that I find applicable to my time so far amidst Santiago's urban reality, where skyscrapers and world class subway systems coexist alongside broken dreams, and marginalized communities:

Light Amidst the City 
by Carlos Rodriguez 

Yellowish Skies 

Tired Eyes

A poor woman's 


  Plastered on the flat screen 

Lining one's retinas 

her poverty 

unmistakebly caused 

by her unlucky presence 

in a space 

whose marketing 

does not produce enough 


for the giants you see 

towering above you 

ready to kill you 

What can you do for this 

woman when your own 

fears exist? 

How can you tell her 

to organize, to ask for her 
due, when your own smallness 
scares you at the face 
of such giants? 

And then in a moment 


unbearable weight 

the light of the
catches you 

in its radiant arms

- Listen 

I am the God of the 

Poor, I am the God of 

this light- 

Strive for there is more 

light in the depth of a 

poor woman's heart 

then in the brick of 

a robotic giant- 


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