My friends came over on multiple nights to drink beer, eat good food and help me to pack my home for the move from the Cathedral to Albuquerque Heading Home. Today I began my new life, raising money to ease the suffering of people who experience homelessness. It was a beautiful day. Kind. Gentle. Meaningful. I felt safe.
Once home, I continued to unpack my belongings for the home I am blessed to have. When one spends one’s day raising money and people to help ease the suffering caused by the lack of a home in which to take shelter, one becomes rather more deeply aware of the blessing of having a home to enter. One becomes aware, deeply aware of the blessing of a shower to refresh, a bed for rest and a door to lock again the ghosts and goulies which darken some phases of life.
Often, as I unpacked, I would unwrap a vase or a picture only to find these love notes from my sweet friends who wrote them, unseen by me, and hid them in the boxes around my possessions for me to find – a love letter scavenger hunt of sorts. Wonderful and painful at the same time.
And yet today I made so many new friends I can hardly count them. And I began work Jesus would actually recognize among saints the church would never recognize and who would desire no such ecclesial recognition.
We are loved. That is all we need to know. We are loved by God and by people – many we do not even know. There are love notes from God and our friends all over the place – far less obvious perhaps than these, but still, there. It is our job to get busy loving people and we will find that we too are loved.
Yesterday, Kai and I went for a walk and passed a man begging for food on the street in horrifically hot weather, on the side walk. Last night a monsoon rain drove hard in horizontal sheets and I wonder what people without homes did in that rain? How many were swept away?
I sat with the man on the sidewalk. He was a student who had been thrown out of his mother’s house. He was kind and soft-spoken. He will not be homeless in a few days. But he is tonight, and perhaps tomorrow too. A local sandwich shop let me and Kai in long enough to buy him meal. I told him about Heading Home. He smiled and simply said “How did I get to this place in my life?” I had no answer. But we sat together and he petted Kai, and Kai licked his face.
We think we need possessions, big houses, nice cars, titles. We need to be loved. We need a bed in a house behind a door. And we need love notes.