OCT. 9, 2020
written by a staff member of the Pilgrim House
In the last few weeks, we have had a few more pilgrims coming through which has been encouraging. It has been such a gift getting to see Pilgrim House as a useful space for Pilgrims. With more guests visiting the space, we have been able to have some significant conversations and offer our services in encouraging ways.
One pilgrim came with an interesting request. Actively looking for a place he could light a candle, this particular pilgrim shared with us a bit of the heavyweight he had carried on his pilgrimage. One of our Pilgrim House directors showed him to our backroom - a place intentionally set aside for quiet and peace.
After leaving for a bit, the man came back and lit a customized candle he had carried with him bearing his granddaughter's name. A granddaughter who at just a few months old, is not expected to live long.
As this grieving man, hurting for his son and for his granddaughter, sat in our back room, I found myself praying for him and his family, struck by the gift that it was to participate in his life and share his pain even in this small way.
When he came out to head on his way, he looked in our eyes and said:
"Thank you - I was able to leave some weight behind here today."
For me, this interchange was a significant one. So many of us find ourselves with heavy things to carry and it's easy to get so caught up carrying them that we forget about what many others are facing. Some of our guests have been homeless, some struggling with health problems, some seemingly alone in the world, burdened with significant traumas.
But even with our more difficult guests, when they are bitter or angry or confused, there's something incredibly special about getting to know them. In all of our brokenness, there remain such beautiful things to be found. It's striking at times to get to stand before, or sit alongside, some of these new acquaintances and see the lives they've lived and the adversity they've endured.
To watch them come in burdened and leave a little bit lighter, come in angry and disheartened and leave with a smile, come in feeling alone, and leave having been heard at least a little - it's a profound gift to participate in these moments of transformation.
Thank you for your support that makes this possible.
Thank you for your encouragement and investment.
Thank you for your prayers.