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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
Finding the sacred in everyday life
The view from the curb
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About this blog
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
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Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.\x34
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By simplyfaithful
July 31, 2013 12:01 a.m.



IMG_3170I remember taking walks on the quiet streets of Nevada, Mo., when I was freshman at Cottey College. My roommate and I would leave the suite we shared with eight other women and wander down to a nearby park, escaping calculus and statistics for an hour or so.

Usually by the time we were walking back, I could see lights on in the homes we passed. A TV would flicker in one house. A porch light would come on at another. If it was nice out, you could catch part of a family’s dinner conversation through the window screen.

And it all looked divine to me.

IMG_3178

If I could only get through college, start a career and family, then I’d have that warmth, that calm and loving routine, in a home of my own. In all my walks past those houses, I never once thought that maybe the TV was on to numb a painful marriage, or maybe the porch light was on to welcome someone home from a second job – a job that was needed to pay the mortgage. From the curb, and from my own naivety, I assumed that everything was fine in those cozy houses.

I know now that I was probably wrong, that life has a way of becoming complicated even when flowerbeds are properly groomed and sidewalks are freshly swept. Yet still today, I make the mistake of staying at the curb, of walking past when friends and neighbors are hurting behind closed doors.

It’s messy, this idea of loving one another. It requires active involvement. It’s risky, entangling and time consuming. But after all these years, it’s time I learned the lesson. It’s time I put it into practice.

 

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