On my daily commute into downtown, I pass the now iconic, “BE SOMEONE” bridge in Houston. Over the years, this sign has been both the creation of artists/vandals and the target of vandals/artists. Lots of senior pictures are taken near here, with arms stretched wide and dreams in the eyes of those pictured. These words “BE SOMEONE” mean something to the people of Houston, especially in the wake of Harvey, when flood waters began to rise too close to the bottom of those words. In recent months, some folks have splashed and splattered paint down the middle of the turquoise letters. And I’ve often wondered about the person or persons who first visioned this H-town landmark, and about the people who seem bent on ruining something precious to so many.
That is exactly what was going through my head last week, when I drove past the words and noticed orange paint where, in my mind, it shouldn’t be. My creative brain began an internal-squabble about why some people seem set on destruction and the undoing of things. But a thought kept wriggling around inside my head. Was this about ruin or re-creation?
After several days of flying by on my way to work and brewing it over in my head and heart, a new thought hit me. Through my windshield and the rain, I read the words again. This time I realized why it could be more than just my first assumption. The words read “BE ONE.” Someone had, on purpose or accidentally, boogered up the letters in the middle. But the words now read, “Be One.” I heard the phrase from the Prayers of the People (Form III in the Book of Common Prayer), “Father we, pray for your holy catholic (universal) Church; That we all may be one.”