Sometimes the deep subterranean reservoir of the world’s pain seeps onto the surface to settle in stagnant and lifeless pools where we can see it.
Yesterday, we had a fire at Hosford House, EBM’s hostel for people who are homeless, and they were made homeless a second time. Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt and we managed to rehouse everybody before nightfall, at least temporarily. But I was able to go back to my wife and tell her of the awfulness of things.
Today, as we made plans to get back in action, and we heard of the timescales involved and faced the hard realities of the potential need for prosecutions, of duty to care and people’s employment, that putrid swamp stained our shoes again.
Ambulance chasers phoned us, sensing opportunity to make money. The pastoral impulse was threatened by the apparent necessity of pressing charges, lest insurance doesn’t pay up. Journalists seeking to fill columns and slots.
Then, towards the end of the day, I passed two young men in the empty. closed foyer of the Mission. Both lives scarred by dysfunction, one, the older brother of a much more troubled younger man, trying to do what was right by his sibling; to say sorry; to seek help; to somehow undo what was done to him in the past and thereby interrupt a cycle that has been turning for God knows how long.
Dear Lord it would break your heart.