South of 8 Mile

Dear Friends,

When I moved to Michigan almost 40 years ago, the one thing I heard over and over as I looked for a place to live is, “Just don’t go south of 8 Mile.” 8 Mile was and is still seen as the line of demarcation. It is the symbolic divide between the city of Detroit and the suburbs, between the haves and the have nots, and the great ethnic divide. Imagine my surprise when I found myself driving down 8 Mile and looking at folks who are a lot like you and me. (I think I was expecting a war zone…)

I am not minimizing cultural barriers, prejudices, and racism, but to break those dangerous lines, we must start realizing how alike we all are. We are all God’s children; loved by a God whose love and grace are unconditional. Territorial barriers, real or symbolic, make us believe that the people on either side are dangerous. The barriers play on our fears and focus on what separates us, blinding us from the things that bring us together. And, sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a territory that limits us from who God is calling us to be.

In this Lenten season we are breaking the barriers, and this week we are looking at those territorial lines that separate us. We are talking about some boundaries that are not physical. Some of the most dangerous barriers are in spiritual territory. We need to see them for what they are and blast our way through to find the freedom, peace, and joy of God’s love. Join us on the journey.

Grace and peace,

Myra Moreland

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