One 24-hour cycle:
Eight strangers entered our doors and became friends.
I presented a virtual workshop on our work of radical hospitality during a pandemic.
Wake up to get ready to take our guests to the airport to be reunited in the United States with loved ones.
Flat tire at 5:30 am.
Pre-dawn walk to the train station, in a drizzle, with five jubilant companions who didn’t sleep a wink because of the excitement of their liberation. One companion was reuniting with his mother after a separation of 38 years.
We arrive at the airport only to discover that one of our companions has a reservation for a flight that departs on that date – NEXT MONTH. We fixed that.
I introduce an asylum-seeking companion from West Africa to an iconic Southern diner, Waffle House. I then spend too much time unsuccessfully figuring out how to explain grits to her via a translation app. I was determined; she was not persuaded.
I return home via public transportation and nap. AAA changes the flat tire while I sleep.
In the evening, Charlotte and I and a long-term resident gather around the piano to sing hymns from our resident’s native home of West Africa. We also teach him some Negro spirituals; his voice fills the Meeting Room as he catches on. We sing, “Were you there when he rose up from the tomb?”
A new guest arrives at our door and is greeted as a friend. This time it’s an 18-year-old asylum seeker separated from her two younger siblings with whom she migrated, without a parent. The teenage asylum seeker spent 3 months in ICE custody. Within the next 24 hours, she will reunite with her siblings.
These are glimpses of grace in the midst of the grit of life.