Friday, September 16, 2011

At the Church's Door


This month Hilary and I took a memorable holiday trip to Ottawa. Thankfully we were able to realize all of our plans to see museums, art galleries, restaurants, shops and boutiques, Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, Gatineau Park and other points of interest.

Our hotel was only a stone's throw away from everything. The second morning I resolved to hit the streets (Elgin, Rideau, Laurier, Wellington) before sunrise to watch the City come to life.

I was stopped in my tracks as I observed a small side yard and garden at a secondary entrance to Knox Presbyterian Church. The sign touted program and a fundraiser coming for the "In From the Cold Program". A curbside sign was representative of the traffic pandemonium of the City core. Orange pylons from R. W. Tomlinson Contractors reminded one of the endless summer road rehabilitation. But back there toward the overarched side door stood a man in thin sport coat with his face planted against the door frame. I did not move. He did not move. For three minutes.

Why was he there? Shelter from the night's cold (September 8th)? Morning time church opening and free breakfast? Pending appointment with the Reverend? Unfathomable routine of one worn by the streets into a state of mental illness?

But there it was, loud as any billboard. One heart seeking, resting, leaning, hoping. City business all around him. The Nation's Capitol mere blocks away. And the Church door closed.

Bless these Presbyterians if they are thinking of opening...

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