Chicago is a city whose national press and lead stories on the local nightly news is mostly negative. Yes, Chi-town has a serious problem with gun violence, however per capita Chicago comes in seventh behind St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, Cleveland, Newark and Memphis.* But our highly publicized status sometime overwhelms the greatness of this city. Let me tell you about the Chicagoland I’m learning to love.
Last week I finished my final paper for the semester, and before I embark on a summer of Clinical Pastoral Education, I’m taking time to drink in this magnificent metropolis. I’ve witnessed its uniqueness through: the hallmark of the spring transitioning to summer, the opening of the Buckingham Fountain triumphantly cascading tons of water (even though the temperature is still in the 60’s) and providing fabulous photo ops for brides and grooms; followed by the most colorful harbinger of springtime, the annual Kite Festival which I am blessed to view through my living room window; an amazing jazz concert at Symphony Hall with the violinist Regina Carter (if you aren’t familiar with her, here’s a taste https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nXruQXWx50); concluding Sunday night with a fundraiser at the architecturally renowned Chicago Cultural Center (see picture of the dome below) for the Bishop Anderson House fundraiser (an affiliate of the Episcopal Church and Rush Hospital) whose purpose it is to promote the work of chaplains. The honorees at the gala were two amazing women serving at Cook County’s Stroger Hospital, Dr. Kimberly Joseph, a trauma surgeon and burn specialist and the Rev. Carol Reese, an Episcopal priest and Clinical Social Worker. These two women have brought together on a daily basis the trauma of the body and the soul to carry out “The Art of Healing,” the theme for the evening.
Chicago like any great city has its challenges as well as its glorious moments. I’m learning to drink in its shining moments and work with others to address its wounds in the hope of participating in “The Art of Healing” this great city.
Visit this amazing city – hold us in your hearts and prayers.