If there isn't anything else going on, these summer evenings are a great opportunity for a walk around the parish territory. There is a lot of activity and humanity to observe and lift up in prayer. It's a little spiritual practice that I've invented, imagining as I do that I will held accountable on the day of judgment--to some degree--for the pastoral care of the people of our neighborhood. Here's some of what you can encounter in just an hour's walk around our parish:
Three other apostolic churches--one Orthodox and two other Catholic (Melkite and Ukrainian)--where you can stop and pray outside for a moment.
Two separate gangs of children being put through football drills.
A full teams basketball game.
People waiting for the bus.
A crowd of folks waiting for Chinese food.
Sketchy guys standing on corners, looking suspicious.
A very serious looking tennis match, with several spectators.
An old couple out for a stroll.
Guys acting tough outside of the fried chicken place.
Girl taking out the trash with opera-length black gloves on.
Tired looking men and women smoking outside of bars.
Folks gabbing outside the funeral home.
A friendly black cat, needing very much to be brushed and with an endless appetite for scratches on top of his head.
Four thuggish looking guys having an acrimonious card game.