Finding Resurrection in our Neighborhoods (IF/THEN)

Tonight at Open Door, we considered the way we might have eyes to see, ears to hear, and the courage to step toward resurrection in our neighborhoods.

Krissy invited us this week into the practice of a Beauty Walk. See the guidelines below and engage the practice this week!


Go for a walk in your neighborhood.  You don’t have to plan your route – you can just wander turn-by-turn where your feet take you, or you can walk a route you take often, but with different eyes.  As you walk, watch for signs of resurrection – bits of green, a smile from someone you pass, a gesture of kindness between a couple walking together.  Note these things somehow.  You could jot notes in a notebook or on your phone or even take pictures as you go.

The purpose of this walk is to look for beauty, but that doesn’t mean that you have to ignore the ugliness and pain.  Mark how those things highlight the signs of resurrection.

Walk without listening to music or talking on the phone.  Keep all of your senses open to what is happening around you.  Does the smell of fresh-baked bread mingle with the car exhaust?  Is there music flowing from a neighbor’s window?

When you get home, create something tangible that represents the beauty you noticed.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Write a poem that simply lists the things you see.  You may want to try repeating a phrase or two throughout – sometimes that helps a list-poem feel more poem-like.  You could try a phrase like “beauty endures,” “resurrection is coming” or “hope grows.”
  • Create an art piece that represents one (or more) of the things you noticed.  It could be a painting, or you could print one of the pictures you took.
  • Create a beauty map.  Draw a simple map of the route you walked and label important places.  Then add symbols or words for the signs of beauty you noticed.

When you are finished with your art, step back from it and look at it for a while. 

What do you notice? 
How does the contrast of beauty and pain you see in your neighborhood mirror your own heart? 
How do you dream of seeing resurrection continue to grow in your neighborhood?