Falling in Love with Baltimore

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Baltimore has been my home for nearly two months now. I’ve learned to navigate to two grocery stores, use the subway system, survive going the wrong way down a one way street, and sleep with a police helicopter shining its search light in my bedroom window.

And while I’ve had little-to-no reservation about calling this city my new home, taking my first run as a Baltimore resident pushed me over the edge.

There’s something unique about a run through a place that will acquaint you with its secrets more than a stroll or a cruise.  Something about your feet pounding the pavement and your heart beating through the blocks that beautifully sets your affections on the land you’re covering – however slow your pace might be. {In my case, so slow that the GPS quit working because it must have thought I had stopped moving.}

Maybe it’s because you’re confronted with the faces of your neighbors, their smiles, frowns, wrinkles spelling out weariness, lines testifying of laughter. Maybe it’s because adrenaline heightens your awareness of your surroundings. Maybe it’s because running is to land as hand is to skin, a way of familiarizing oneself with distinct features. So every crack, hill, root, brick, slope, and dip along the route becomes intimate knowledge of the ground you run.

Whatever the case, I felt a deep connection to my new home as I passed through it’s various streets, stood breathless at the sight of the city skyline in morning light, ached at the decay of city blocks, breathed prayers for restoration, healing, and hope for the people.

My heart broke wide open listening to Beautiful Feet as I ran, praying that God would use me to pour out his grace to a hurting city, this city of hollow houses and haunting streets, a city thirsting for hope and divided by fear. And lest I should lose faith in his power, he reminded me in church the next day that at the very word of his powerful gospel, even dry bones can be brought to life {Ez. 37}.

And so my love has been set on Baltimore, not because of the grand architecture and cobblestone streets {though those are dear to me}, but because of the broken and needy, even those who don’t yet know their need.

Hello Baltimore. It’s good to be home.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

“You hold the truth that saves so run and shout it to the world
They can’t believe in something they ain’t never heard
Go, go, go and run with those beautiful feet”

{Lecrae}

Linking up to Pencilled Daydream

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4 comments

  1. Beautiful! And gorgeous pictures. You have a real talent for photography. It’s so real and raw, it makes me feel like I’m there and can touch and feel everything!

    1. Thank you for saying that! Been really stretching myself with photography. Encouraging to know there’s some growth taking place 🙂 Thank you!!

  2. I loved this post, Susanna. You painted a beautiful picture with words, and your photos helped embellish the mental picture that words alone would have conjured up. I totally get what you mean about your affections being set on the land you are covering as you run. I love the way running gives you vision for a place in a way that nothing else does : )

    1. So good to know that I’m not alone! Part of me felt like I was being a bit over dramatic about it. But there IS that feeling isn’t there? Thank you for siding with me on that 😉

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