Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yesterday we drove from Florida to Villa Rica, Ga. From orange trees and palm leaves to orange leaves and pine trees. We retraced the same route we had taken in the spring. This time however, was to help our sister-in-law move.

We looped the exit off I-75 North and under the bridge onto I-20 West. That's where we saw him.
Rush hour traffic was dwindling. Most folks were already home. They were probably sitting down to the dinner table. He was home. We saw him, sitting by his front door reading a book.

From where he was perched he could watch the traffic fly by, or crawl by depending on the time of day. He didn't look a bit concerned about the madness only a few feet away from his front door. Except during rush hour when the traffic slowed to a crawl the wind from the passing vehicles would cause his front door to shake – actually his whole house.

A canvas flap for a front door draped over cardboard walls. And this was home. The bridge offered protection from the rain and the scorching sun. There he sat by the front door, reading. I wonder what he read.

We couldn't stop – it would have caused a wreck. We drove by. My mind stayed behind. I wondered about him the rest of our journey. I wondered about him and said a prayer for him when I fell asleep. And now as I sip coffee and tap these keys I am still wondering about his wanderings.

What does he do for money? Pan-handle during rush hour? It would be a short commute; only twenty feet from his front door. How about family? Does he have any? Do they worry about him? Does he have any friends? Why is he there? Is he happy? Sad? Crazy? What was he reading?

As I think of him I think maybe he's better off than some of the crazed crowd that rushes by his front porch each day. Thousands of folks with road-rage attitudes blow by at seventy miles an hour. In the morning they're in a hurry to get to work. In the afternoon they're in a hurry to get home. No matter the direction the same thing is true - always in a hurry to be somewhere else.

He watches and reads. He's at home; they're still trying to get there.

Well, I need to get busy helping Rosie, my sister-in-law get ready to move. She's moving from one beautiful house to another. But her home, well she takes that with her wherever she goes.

Our heart beats like the flapping front door canvas. And where our heart is there is our home.

Today Lord, remind us that this world is not our home but while we're here help us be settled where we're at; to pay attention to those around us. Grant us an understanding that your peace that passes understanding is with us. And even though it may seem like the world is passing us by let us feel at home resting in the front porch of your presence. Amen.


a sojourner said...

let us feel at home resting in the front porch of your presence. Amen.


hi Doug. like yourself, i'm a pretty good observer, if you will. ...don't think it's anything of me or from me but tend to think that it's a gift from our Father. i think He brings these situations to our attention so that we can pray/intercede for them. this post. it reminds/ed me of Him. He never just passed by...oblivious to those around Him.

Graceful said...

Doug, This is a fabulous, moving and provacative post. It really spoke to me today. You ask good questions, and your writing is beautiful.

S. Etole said...

I always enjoy your writing ... even when it challenges my comfort zone!