Today Erinn and I were asked to visit a friend in their apartment, to “bless it despite the mess”. It was a beautiful experience.
This friend has a wild sense of humour, is artistic and thoughtful, and has struggled with addiction for many years. He has lived in a variety of contexts, including shelters and prisons, and now has a bachelor apartment in Parkdale. He has been part of The Dale community for a long time.
He has spoken for a while about the need to clean up his place, and today he was insistent that we come by for a while; not to clean, but to pray. He told us how he has never really learned how to make a place into a home; how to house-keep in the most meaningful sense. He asked us to pray a blessing over his lodging place, in hopes that it will feel more like a home.
So we did. And in a couple of weeks we’ll return, with cleaning supplies, garbage bags, and a good supply of elbow grease. Both Erinn and I find cleaning to be a therapeutic activity, so we’re genuinely looking forward to the opportunity to help our friend spruce up his place. And we know that it is a deep honour to be able to help turn a house/apartment/room into a home.
There are so many reasons that a place may not feel like a home- a lack of cleanliness/organization, a lack of physical or emotional safety, geographical distance from communities of belonging, the presence of a variety of unwelcome critters, or the presence of unfriendly/hostile neighbours.
Our prayer is that the transformation from an apartment to a home will occur in a meaningful way for our friend, and for so many of our other friends who may not currently be “houseless” but are still deeply “homeless”.