Friday, July 8, 2011

Eyes of Redemption

Right before I went out of town last week, a year into home-ownership, I got a hefty check in the mail from my mortgage company, along with an explanation that my mortgage was going down a considerable amount due to a correction in their prior over-estimation of my property value. According to the state, it seems, I live in a rather worthless area of a rather worthless city. It was a striking assessment because, a year into home-ownership, I still find myself quite charmed with the neighborhood.

“I think you have a rather idealized image of the neighborhood,” one of my more disillusioned friends once suggested. I didn’t argue. All is reasons for disillusionment (e.g. here and here) seemed equally valid as mine for fondness (e.g. here and here), and I didn’t feel that I had the right to assert my optimism over his pessimism.

I also didn’t argue because I’ve been told that with regard to another little city in Ireland many times before by various less enchanted friends. Three years after my first visit to Cork, I returned this past weekend for my fourth summer visit, and the residents cannot believe I would willingly spend so many vacations here. I seem to have a history of falling in love with odd places.

I don’t want to discredit the suggestion that I may over-idealize certain places, but it may be that (ideally, at least) the Christian does so in general, not because he is delusional but because he sees the world through eyes of redemption. Perhaps there is a way that my neighborhood can be seen in the light of the original goodness of creation and the hope of the New Creation that has begun already and will be completed in the future Resurrection. Perhaps in that light the robberies and drugs and even the gunshots cannot dampen its beauty.

Either way, I returned to Cork last week with a smile on my face, and I’m sure I’ll return to my neighborhood in five weeks time similarly smiling. If these be eyes of redemption, the world sure looks lovely through them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's not a bad thing to love the place you live. You COULD choose to dislike it if you tried, and why do that? Happiness is a choice. I'm glad you make good ones.