As a young girl growing up in Arkansas, a highlight of my Christmas break was waking up on New Year’s Day and watching the Rose Parade on TV.
By Tera Landers
December in Arkansas is brown and cold. Only rarely would we get snow as early as December. By January 1, the sparkling Christmas ornaments had been taken down, and the vibrant colors, flowers, and fantastical designs of the Rose Parade floats filled my mind with wonder.
Pasadena seemed like a universe away, and a paradise by any measure.
All these years later, and I now have the pleasure of pastoring in Pasadena. Honestly – it still seems like Paradise to me, even in the heat and even when the rainy season comes.
And yet, I know that it isn’t a Paradise for everyone. When you scratch the surface, you quickly find out that Pasadena has its share of issues and troubles. Not everyone has a bed to sleep in, or enough to eat, or enough love and beauty in their lives.
When most of us begin imagining Paradise, it may be a place of beauty, but it’s also a place where life is abundant for all. Where each person can live into the fullness of who they can be.
If you aren’t already engaged in some way beyond yourself, this summer is a great time to put your energies toward some activity or organization that is working to create Paradise here on earth.
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