Thursday, January 30, 2020

Real heat and true joy

I'm spending the night at the local shelter for families. My usual spot is on an airbed by the door - as portress. A statue of Mary and a large green plant screen some of the light from the parking lot, an Oriental folding screen gives me a bit of privacy from anyone in the hallway. I set my water bottle and phone on the window ledge, and leave my shoes in easy reach. The hall isn't heated, but I bring my sleeping bag and warm socks.

But when I arrived tonight, no bed by the door. Instead I've got a room with a door, and as the director pointed out before she left, "You have real heat!" Not a space heater, it's on a central system, complete with thermostat. (The families' quarters, I hasten to point out, are nicely climate controlled!) It's a storage space, with bins along the walls with supplies for the religious education program, and boxes of books on tables. But it has a picture of laughing Jesus on the wall, and a spot to put my glasses and phone. The real heat is a delight, but the real joy is that picture on the wall.

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