A beautiful dawn.
A garden sun-warmed.
A morning dew dance.
Tiny flower faces peer into the light.
Vapor still clinging as dew glitters.
The sun's glow breaking through the dark of night, captured here in the tiny viola heart.
In my mind is carried a thought..."Consider the lilies..."
But there was more to consider today.
A tour has been arranged for some of us.
A visit, to the Star of Hope.
Houston's homeless shelter.
A one hundred year long battle ground against "addiction to concrete", the wrack and the ruin of drugs, alcohol, and poverty.
A Place for people in circumstances beyond their control.
Or for those pinned down by situations gone out of their control.
Three huge facilities to see, one for women and children, and two for men.
We tour for over three hours.
I learn some of the homeless come for a few weeks, only needing a short stay while a temporary setback is remedied.
Others come for a year, a year and a half, and begin to unwind the knotted twists of a lifetime through discipline, study, and counsel.
From plain grey dormitories filled with bunks covered with equally grey blankets, men work their way up to the relative luxury of a room that is shared only with one other.
Hard work, (emotionally, physically, intellectually...), and broken lives are reconstructed, (sometimes), sheltered within the shelter's boundaries and limits.
Sheltered for a time against ill-considered choices.
I was interested in the process, the computer classes, the Bible study, the meal preparations.
But was untouched.
I have worked with the "down and out", trained them, and helped them.
I'm a little hardened.
It happened as we walked the final hallway.
The hallway where the rooms only have two beds.
(That final level that a man can achieve before moving on)
That's were it happened.
I saw this room.
A tiny bear.
And five clothing items hanging in the open doorless closet.
My hardened heart was touched.
And a mist rises in my eyes at what I see in this room:
The dawning of a new life.
The shelter is downtown,
and tour over,
I have another errand to run.
The hat that "bucked me off" awhile ago has been awaiting me,
resting forlornly on the back seat of my car,
just in case I have reason to be downtown,
and have time to shop for a hat band.
The sky in town is beautiful.
At a stop light I think:
Inside every tower,
behind each window:
A man or a woman
finishing their week,
looking forward to returning
I've reached my destination.
I feel a familiar rush.
Like an addict, I take in colors and textures, using my eyes and fingertips to fuel my cravings for beauty.
High Fashion Fabrics the store is called.
And I am high indeed.
King Solomon in all his glory was still not arrayed in such as these.
This beauty is costly.
My boundaries are firm.
(My eyes take it in, but I leave it behind.)
Each creation has a glory.
The four corners of the earth.
Falling water, crevases of ice.
Lilies of the field.
Sparkles of light.
Silvery fish of the deep.
What is beauty?
What is vapor?
What is mist?
What have I gotten, have done with my day?
Which things were like lilies, which has beauty, yet tomorrow is thrown away?
What of the flowers,
What shall I say, what will be written when I blog this day at last?
(The curved silver building in the picture above was formerly the home of the tragic company known as Enron.)