Tonight I did the same thing that I did one year ago this evening: I went for a run through the city.
I remember it vividly because it capped one of the best days of my life. I had a great day at work. I spent time with my ladies. I had a gripping spiritual dialogue with some men from church on a rooftop overlooking downtown. I stopped by a community mixer where I had some engaging conversation with community leaders. And later that night I felt so good, I went out for a run through downtown, Over-the-Rhine and then down to the riverfront.
As I laid down to sleep that night, I was excited about what was happening in our city and the chance to be a part of it.
It was a perfect day.
But the reason I remember it is because the very next day, the bottom fell out.
I had no idea how that event would change everything. The weeks we spent out of our house and our neighborhood killed the momentum I felt we were developing. And, honestly, I've felt like we've been playing catch up until just recently (for proof, notice the lack of writing on this website during that time). As I reflect on all that's happened this year, I want to be bitter. It's been a very rough 12 months, filled with chaos and strife. And it obviously wasn't the fire's fault but somewhere, in the back of my mind, I blame it.
But I just can't be bitter, because I'm thankful.
Thankful for my family's and my neighbor's safety. Thankful for the conversations this event spawned. Thankful for the friendships it helped strengthen. Thankful to live in a community like ours. Thankful for this city that I love. Thankful for a God who provides.
You can always move on past the flames. You have to.
There are more perfect nights out there just waiting to be experienced.