1 Corinthians 13:12

Yesterday, I had to drive into downtown Chicago for work.  I was helping pack boxes.  Thrilling, I know.

But as I drove into the city from Lakeshore Drive and began trying to find the parking garage I had been assigned, I got lost.  Several times.  There is a maze of tunnels north of Millenium Park, streets underneath streets…it turns into a multi-leveled maze beneath a swarm of hotels and hotspots and skyscrapers, and one minute you’ll be driving above ground and the next you’ll descend into a helter-skelter pattern of concrete-and-steel passages in the city’s underbelly.  I was reminded of that show I had a passing fancy for, “Cities of the Underworld,” only that show was about ancient cities lying underneath modern ones; this is a modern city lying underneath a modern city.

I found my spot and did my work, and came back, and left.  But as I walked from North Michigan Aveneue back to my parking space in a garage on East Illinois, a thought occurred to me.  I could have been born in this city, and spent every hour of my life, from birth to death, simply walking the city.  I could have walked underneath the L, ridden its trained, explored the underworks, descended to the sewers, and still have found only a fraction of this city.  And it is a certainty that, once I grew old, I would find areas of that city I thought I had explored, and find them under construction, or condemned, or revitalized in ways I could never expect.

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