Street Walls #2: A Contemplation of Place

In the Key of Love



The appearance of this hand-painted sign was not an isolated event. This message was a systematic and deliberate action of a group who got the Gospel message: Fight evil with Good.

One day my little brother casually mentioned that he was actually one of the organizers of this group. What!?! It was like finding out about Bruce Wayne’s identity, except that this was more than a lone ranger. He was part of a group. They came up with it while talking at an Irish Pub (yes, there are Irish Pubs in Juarez).

He was telling me of his involvement over the phone that day because he wanted me to pray for them. They were at the very vulnerable stage of making things bigger. To their surprise, a few days later, they saw their efforts bear fruit. Young people showed up in the hundreds to help! An impressive number of decaying walls are now filled with messages of love and hope.


They also organized parties where the admission was a new toy, or the cost of one, and donated hundreds of toys to poor children struggling with cancer at low-cost hospitals. They are known for having stationary bicycles under the same bridge where once the names of police officers hung, and they ask for bicycle donations that they give away at Christmas to children in need. All are invited to pedal, honk, or donate bicycles or tricycles.

These were young college students. Some are now beginning their practice as dentists, or as businessmen. They are busy dating or starting families. They were tired then; they are tired now. They know that “Happiness is truly found in giving,” but they have also realized that love takes effort. This demands more time than they have, but they do it anyway. Sometime they get discouraged. Would you pray for them today? (Send them your love at #accionpoeticajuarez, if you’re into that. I hear they could use it right now).

The pope will drive many streets where these signs are. I’m not sure if he’ll see them, but I’m sure he’ll be exhausted toward the end. He is a living sign that “Happiness is found in giving,” and he gives so much. His work of love takes great effort. Would you pray for him today? (Send the pope your love at #popefrancis, if you’re into that. I’m sure he could use it, especially at the end of his trip on Feb. 17.)


Later today I will begin blogging on the ground. For those familiar with Ignatian Contemplation we’re moving from the Contemplation of Place and preparation to actually Entering the Scene. I’ll be interviewing an array of people. Afterwards we’ll try a colloqui of sorts exploring what God might be saying to us through this visit.

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