Regarding the city

“When I got home I mixed a stiff one and stood by the open window in the living room and sipped it and listened to the groundswell of the traffic on Laurel Canyon Bloulevard and looked at the glare of the big angry city hanging over the shoulder of the hills through which the boulevard had been cut. Far off the banshee wail of police or fire sirens rose and fell, never for very long completely silent. Twenty-four hours a day somebody is running, somebody else is trying to catch him. Out there in the night of a thousand crimes people were dying, being mained, cut by flying glass, crushed against steering wheels or under heavy tires. People were being beaten, robbed, strangled, raped, and murdered. People were hungry, sick, bored, desperate with loneliness or remorse or fear, angry, cruel, feverish, shaken by sobs. A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness.”

–Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye


4 responses to “Regarding the city

  • James Lansberry

    The New Jerusalem has none of those things, and if our city is to reflect the heavenly city (which it seems it ought) then we must pray that God will fill that emptiness with the Gospel of Hope and Peace and that through the transformation of said city He will use it to reflect His City, which has past mourning and is never “shaken by sobs.”

  • Jeremy Beach

    This passage sums up exactly why I couldn’t handle where I had been living above One World. I always felt like I was in a war zone, which in some ways I was. I’m glad that those of you who have gone into the city purposely to live out the Gospel in the midst of such darkness are able to endure it, praise God. Clearly it’s important for Christians to be in the city, but I always felt like my soul was dying…even before the emotional pain that I went through the final two months before I moved.

    If God ever calls me back to the city, I hope that there will be many opportunities for me to escape temporarily in order for me to maintain my sanity. I’ll be praying for y’all…regardless of your last name. ; -)

  • A Dark And Quiet Room » Regarding "Regarding the city"

    […] that there was apparently some confusion about the Chandler quote that I posted below, I thought that I’d elaborate a […]

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