Morning breaks on the dry desert surrounding of the small hill on which our block house is situated, and the air feels thick as my body breathes in the dusty air which mingles with the smoke from a trash pit two blocks over. As I stand on the porch, which is set just off the side of the apartment, sip softly the cup of coffee I have prepared to shake the last moments of sleep from my brain, and look at the impoverished ragtag neighborhood just below, a small black cat leaps, almost alights, atop what is left of a standing wall overlooking this small valley. His tiny frame is accentuated by the sheen glow of his fur as it soaks up the dawn's first gleaming rays. Immediately my thoughts are taken back to the women's shelter we had visited the day previous, and I remembered the small child that spun in ecstasy on the floor. I also remembered the mother whose daughter had been abducted only a few days before and the mother in Mexico city being treated for the wounds she had suffered after being sexually assaulted on her way to work. In this moment, I see the cat and the child interwoven. One gives glory to God in her youthful revelry, and the other does so merely by displaying dumbfounding beauty in creation. All of this is in strict opposition to poverty, degradation, injustice, and need. I finish the last sips of my coffee, breathe deep the tainted air one final time, I turn to go inside, and I pray for wisdom. I ask that I might know how to be the child dancing in the face of oppression; be that perfect creature of beauty in a disjunct and decrepit environment; bring joy to this seemingly dark place.