A passionate community shares love

Published 11:10pm Friday, October 26, 2012

There are many things about Selma that I have had to get used to since moving here two months ago. For starters not living near my friends, my family or a Starbucks, has taken some time to adjust to. One thing however, I have truly enjoyed getting used to living in Selma, is interacting with the people who live and work here and seeing their generous love for one another and for me.

This week while covering stories on SABRA’s domestic violence awareness programs, ghost tours at Old Cahawba and a fall festival at Kenan’s Mill and, of course, the upcoming vote for Sunday alcohol sales, I met and spoke with many different kinds of people.

People who were passionate about their jobs and about their beliefs, people who wanted to get the word out to the community and were excited to talk to me and even people who were upset with this week’s coverage of certain events; I got to see it all.

The thing that struck me the most this week, was when those people paused from the interview for a moment to ask me a few questions. Some of them had read articles I had written and wanted to share their thoughts on the situation or events that had taken place, others were curious as to how I was liking Selma, and asked whether I had found a place to live and how life as a Times-Journal reporter was treating me.

The pastor of the church I visited last Sunday, stopped by my house to say hello, and thank me again for visiting with them on Sunday. I had two people invite me to be a guest at their churches and to even eat lunch with their family on Sunday. Even though their actions were small, they touched my heart in a huge way.

I’ve lived in the Bible Belt my whole life, and understand that people are supposed to practice what they preach. But this week, for the first time in a long time, I could really see the love of Christ in the community. Those who I interviewed were passionate about people and about the welfare of this city.

And to me, this is the heart of Selma. It’s caring and compassionate. The people are interested and invested in the lives of those who live here – even if they’ve only lived here for two months.

I have no family in Selma, but when people reach out and want to see me and the other young reporters here succeed and get plugged into the community, it feels like I’m joining a new family; a new family that I’m proud and excited to be a part of and get to know better.

Thank you residents of Selma and of Benton who have reached out to me and reminded me that even though it may be miles before I reach the nearest pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks or even a hug from my family — there is a community right in front of me giving generously of their hearts and is passionate about the people who live here.

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