Welcome to Day 13 of HopeSpeaks: 30 Stories in 30 Days.  Learn more about the HopeSpeaks campaign and submit your story here!   See all HopeSpeaks stories here!

By Rebekah Johnson:

The City of Detroit’s seal reads: “Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus”, which is Latin for, “We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes.”

To me, this is such a perfect motto for the city I’ve called home for my whole life. I remember falling in love with the city my first year as a student at Wayne State. Detroit was such an exciting place to be! I could walk to the DIA and beautiful main branch of the Detroit Public Library, enjoy a delicious Avalon sandwich a few blocks away, and hear my music friends perform at the 1890 Saloon down the street.

I was hooked.

After an internship at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, I made my mind up — this was it. I didn’t want to leave (unlike many of my high school and college friends). And I didn’t; I’ve since chosen jobs that kept me downtown.

Today, I’ve worked in the city for nearly 10 years and am more in love with the city than ever. I’m proud to take friends on tours of my favorite restaurants and events. I know the Paris-inspired spoke-and-wheel streets downtown like the back of my hand. It excites me to see the enthusiasm that young professionals and artists have for the city. The New York Times recently dubbed Detroit the new “TriBeCa.” How exciting is that? There’s so much enthusiasm right now for the city that we hope for.

I would be remiss in admitting that the City of Detroit has a lot to overcome – racism, poverty, violence, unemployment, financial problems, reputation issues – and these are only the tip of the iceberg. But out of this “broken-ness” (and “broke-ness”) will come something wonderful — only with the help of a God who has the power to overcome these insurmountable problems. Emergency Financial Managers, Magic Johnson, Mayor Bing, City Council and Dan Gilbert all have the power to do great things, but the lasting, real solution lies in the God of THIS City; He’s the true source of hope.   With His help, and according to his will, I know we’ll rise from these ashes!

8 Responses to “Day 13: Rise From The Ashes”

  1. Loved this post! I actually have goose pimples! God is in this city! I see His Majesty in it everyday! Thanks for sharing your view with us!

  2. Wow! I never knew that about the Detroit seal! It’s truly awe-inspiring that with every initiative and program this city can whip up, it’s Jesus who will change Detroit from the inside out! Awesome post!

  3. Rebekah, thank you for sharing your love for the city and all it has to offer 🙂 I had no idea that’s what the seal of the Detroit said! How fortuitous!

  4. this is great! Thanks for your perspective!

  5. Detroit is so ripe for real hope! Hope that won’t fail, stop, or change; Hope that is only found in Jesus. I’m excited to be a part of it!

  6. Shirley Temple Bickerstaff says:

    This post is awesome! It does give me goose bumps of anticipation for what God has in store for this city. With God at the helm we will rise!!!

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