Tuesday, April 17, 2012

“Centralia Has Me Seeing Green”

Every where I turn in the town that I live, I see green. Green signs, people wearing green t-shirts, and green lettering on local businesses and vehicles. The green is not to just to celebrate spring, our High Schools colors, but a community effort to save something priceless. Everyone in the community have united together to display green to save one of its most valuable assets, the Murray Center. The Murray Center provides a caring home and excellent care to 280 special needs residents. Governor Quinn, the governor of Illinois, has decided to close the facility and displace all the residents and employees. But the green is not about saving the jobs of 550 staff members. While jobs are crucial and important, the main explanation I hear for saving the Murray Center is more about the quality of care and life of what Jesus called the “least of these” and their families. Governor Quinn explained his actions were taken because of green cash despite the fact that the Murray Center has turned a profit of millions of dollars in last years.

So what is all the green about? The color green symbolizes self-respect and well being. Green is the color of balance. It also means learning, growth and harmony. Not being from Centralia I see green as the perfect color. Green has displayed the self respect and well being of the care given to the residence at the Murray Center. Green causes each of us who live here to find this balance between activism, politics, religion and community involvement. I have witnessed churches putting theological practices aside and coming together to pray and seek God’s guidance. I have witnessed local political leaders put aside personal egos and party lines to work together. It does not take long to see people gathering together in a show of solidarity to keep green in our community. I am not sure of the outcome but I know that during this whole journey our community has grown closer together. We have put others needs ahead of our own, lifted up to God in prayer our current circumstance, and bonded together. In a green cash strapped community, people have given of their already limited resources to help in the fight. The people of the Centralia area have begun to work in harmony with one another. Yes green is the perfect color for our community. In a society when division is profitable it is refreshing to see unity.

I can not predict the outcome but I truly believe no matter what our community has already won. We have unselfishly fought for the quality of life for those who can not take care of their own basic needs. We have battled for the families who can rest easy at night knowing that their loved one is safe, loved, and taken care of. We have brawled side by side in unity using all our resources with those in power to secure a safe home for those who need it most. Nothing can take that away our self respect and pride as a community as we know we have done the best we can. I was not born in Centralia but God chose to call my family and me here and once again it has proven to be an awesome place to live and raise our children. For that i am thankful. I believe in our community there has been awakening for each of us to see the beauty within that sometimes eludes us. That is something no governor can take away from us. Yes Centralia has me seeing green and I could think of a more beautiful color.
Peace, Love and Happiness,

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