I prayed for my neighbors… was over a year ago. Subsequent posts chronicled the neighborhood battles around Columbia University expanding into our street under the guise of a ‘community plaza’. Meeting and working with our neighbors, we organized and researched, uncovering CU’s ultimate plans to expand their campus, shutting down a large part of our street and eventually taking over more of our neighborhood.
We fought the Community Board. We won, we lost. We fought harder, we prayed and trusted God. As the deadline to file suit against the Community Board neared, I shared my findings with the group: Without thousands of dollars for legal fees, it would be foolhardy to proceed pro se against NYC.
Thus, I officially passed the baton to the Lord. We did our part to the fullest extent and now our hope lies in Him alone. Amen!
When enough Community Board votes betrayed us and aligned with CU, the chairman congratulated CU and gave one caveat, “Wait until the current NYC street repairs are completed in that area before you begin street closure…” The execs gladly agreed. That was June 26th this year…
And this is today, October 31st….
My neighbor and I met with an onsite engineer yesterday and asked about the work. Even after 3 months of water main replacement and repairs, he sees the work continuing for another month and a half! Columbia University wanted to close our street so their students can ‘socialize, meet, and have coffee, without any cars or traffic around’. C’mon snow!!
As the largest land owner in NY and upon witnessing their wielding of political power and land grabbing, I began to refer to Columbia University as an empire – with taxpaying residents as their serfs! But that oppressive scenario only reminds me of Daniel’s admonishment to dethroned King Nebuchadnezzar: “Learn that Heaven Rules”!
And we, as citizens of heaven, need to remember and proclaim that too!
I passed God the baton and the ground didn’t open up and swallow my enemies…but the ground did open up! Although we tried our best, it is God who is pushing back CU’s development plans. Will He thwart them completely? Will we regroup with this new allotted time and go forth with a new strategy?
All I know is this, God is at the helm of Haven Avenue. Not that this piece of asphalt has any eternal value. I believe though, that a ‘gate’ opened where neighbors finally meet and share their concern and outrage. Hopefully one day living faith takes root with the assurance that, although this world passes away, God’s truth and salvation are forever…because Heaven Rules.