I didn’t have it in me to take even one more call.
I was on my 13th hour of the workweek’s final day, fueled by only a 20 minute sandwich and that flashing red light on my phone kept blinking. It was already after five when I mistook it for a stoplight from God at the intersection of a long day. I’d earned my drive home, dinner with my dog and what’s lately been more like a short winter’s naps than good nights of sleep. But it’s my weekend.
After my Monday morning hot shower and shave, sporting a topcoat the length of which was destined to rival the day ahead in this business of keeping poor people housed and fed with the lights on, the red flashing light would surely still be there for me this morning along with a dozen other calls from the unfortunate many.
502am at the office, I turned on the coffee and tended to my opening routine down the dark hall, passing my office doorway where the room was still illuminated red from the tiny light on my phone that had begged an answer all weekend but for which I’d not had the time.
Coffee in hand, I listened.
A 74 year old man had just watched his home, bed and a backseat of possessions be towed from a nearby parking lot and he needed a place to sleep for the night, some transportation, and a little hope.
There are times I question the very things I have come to believe I deserve.
This business of flashing red lights can eat you alive and spit your heart out one day with no shred of mercy in the morning.
It’s 511am and I’m on the phone trying to reach that cold old man from last week, a little forgiveness, and personal redemption for what will be another thankless day, but very strangely worth every moment.