By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC
On a crisp fall day when it was still quite dark, I strolled up and down my block to check who had porch lights on. As I took note, I thought about all the people in the neighborhood who work diligently for our safety.
There’s Paul, chair of the Shaw Neighborhood safety committee, who spearheaded the project for free porch lights to light up our blocks. Ameren, the local electric company, will provide free energy-efficient porch lights for anyone who wants one.
Paul posted flyers on all our doors so that we could sign up for a free bulb. He’s hauling his ladder around to install them and is even trying to find money to help mount new fixtures for those who need them. His dedication to safety in Shaw motivates me to help make our block a haven of peace and calm.
A well-lit block is a safety precaution. But it’s more. It’s a powerful symbol and metaphor of neighbors caring for neighbors, of being willing to share the light, and of wanting to look out for one another in the darkness of crime and fear that seems to lurk in the shadows of some parts of our city.
Not everybody on the block is a believer in the Light of Christ, but that Light seemed present and protective as I walked our block, praying for the residents and hoping that better porch lighting for our street will bring more safety and care for one another.
I felt safe, alert and cautious as I walked our street. Life in the city isn’t as scary and unsafe as some who don’t live here might think. I can count on my neighbors when I need them and even when I don’t need them.
If we’re going to succeed as a city, a society, a church, and a planet, we need to find ways to be lights for one another and realize that the Light lives within and around us.