The Common Good

"The Line" Shatters Suburban Poverty Stereotypes

Date: February 1, 2013

Sometimes life throws a “new normal” at you that significantly shakes things up and causes you to rethink or look differently at the world in which we live. Six years ago I experienced a new normal that invited me to look a little harder at my world. So my wife and I moved from a nice suburb into our city’s highest crime and highest poverty neighborhood. Now I find myself waking up every morning, not to the sound of birds chirping but to the jangle of shopping carts being pushed through the alley by those who are homeless or collecting cans and bottles as a means of survival.

A few weeks ago my church hosted a showing of The Line, a recent documentary by Sojourners that looks at the growing reality of suburban poverty. A new normal emerged for many as we wrestled together—some for the first time—with this reality.