“The Other Place”

This morning my mind travelled back to my roots growing up in Chicago. I wrote this piece a few years back celebrating how far God has brought me. Truly had it not been for the grace of God where would I be...2 Corinthians 5:17)?!

“I recently visited my hometown Chicago.

As usual, like a kid at recess, the anticipation of visiting my old neighborhood filled me with excitement.

I drove down Interstate 55, playing my oldies but goodies as my memory banks flooded with sweet thoughts of the “back in the day”.

I drove to my old neighborhood and stared at faces, hoping to see beneath the ravages of time and just living, an old school mate or girlfriend or anybody that could connect me with the “back in the day”.

I didn’t see anyone. Everyone was gone or had passed away.

I passed an old joint called “The Other Place”, and it was boarded up.

An intense sadness covered me like a dark cloud before a thunderstorm.

Because, you see, “The Other Place”, to me, represented success, achievement, and exclusiveness.

Only the politically connected, the bourgeoisie or bougie for short, the hanger ons and the wannabe’s hung out there.

We neighborhood thugs and societies throw always couldn’t hang there. Their rule was to stop us at the door.

I never saw the inside of “The Other Place”.

Then I realized God had taken me to “The Other Place”.

He took the boarded up, run down, rat infested places of my life and he built me up as new building.

He took my building with the condemned sign on it and replaced it with a sign that says, “No more condemnation”.

He tore down my projects and built me up as a spiritual temple.

However to get to “The Other Place” I had to let go of the other place that kept me tied to Egypt and spiritual slavery.

Because the good old days wasn’t so good and right now beats “back in the day”.

My sadness lifted when I understood that finally I was in “The Other Place”.

“The Other Place” Alfred Long Sr.