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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)

TITLE: Main Street U.S.A.
By Pam Ford Davis
06/09/09


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When did we lose Main Street, USA? It is gone, if not extinct, it bares too little resemblance to be easily recognizable. There are exceptions; but most downtown areas died a slow, painful death.


We can not recapture our past or turn back time; and we do enjoy many benefits of progress. Maybe hidden in the back of some ones mind is the solution for the revitalization of the heart of cities and towns. Such a success would make that individual indispensable and very wealthy!


I live in one of those small cities, claiming a population of roughly 1,500 residents, and not much more than a ghost town. After living here about four years my husband and I are still considered newcomers, yet welcomed as family.


We have heard all the stories of the glory days, when it was a booming railroad town. Main Street was full of people shopping in town to support the local businesses. Stores were full; churches were full and most people lived contented lives. Our local library proudly displays a book of the history of our city. Reading the descriptions, and viewing the pictures of a prosperous city is heart breaking.


Many things contributed to the downturn; families left; the town was by passed by a new busy four lane highway. Most cities share similar stories; only the names change.


Today most Main Street buildings are empty and safety hazards. The few left keep things open out of sheer determination and family pride. The only successful businesses are about a mile south of the town, in modern buildings built about five years ago. Competition with near by cities offering chain stores is hard to beat. Survival is not easy and is often impossible.


Our downtown churches have suffered the same blow. Faithful saints talk of churches full of families, ministries and outreach to all ages. Now in all three churches on any given Sunday each average about forty; and we very rarely see children. We are old; and as our generation dies, the future of the church passes away, too. Vacation Bible School approaches; and we will briefly enjoy the sounds of children’s laughter.


Some day when you plan a long trip, map your route through the downtown areas of towns and cities. Avoid the fast paced interstates; take the time to see the tragedy of Main Street USA, empty and deserted. Picture them as they once were, full of hope and prosperity.


My husband smiles when I am irritated by an unhappy ending to a movie. I like happy endings; I have no happy ending here…


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Rachel Burkum06/16/09
This is written with a tone that can make a reader jump on board with you, with similar feelings about towns that have all but dissolved.

I'd love to see this built into a devotional, with a parallel to hearts that have become "ghost towns" as well, void of life in Christ.