I spotted a cot outside my office’s sliding glass door yesterday, the one that opens onto a small fenced-in garden no bigger than 10 X 5 feet and with the statue of St. Francis in the middle. Someone’s been sleeping in there.
I saw it in the morning but didn’t say anything to anyone as I did my work. Whatever needed done about it could wait, I figured, until I’d knocked out the tasks most urgently needing done. There was nobody there now, anyway, so why make a fuss? But then I left in the middle of the day and forgot to say anything to anyone about it.
I was ambivalent. On the one hand, if somebody with no place to sleep at night has found sanctuary on the church grounds, I don’t want to wreck it. That seems inhospitable and the opposite of what Jesus might do.
On the other hand, there are other church staff to consider, and, more importantly, a preschool. You can’t really have people sleeping on the campus when teachers and parents are arriving at 6:00 in the morning all by themselves.
I grappled with it for awhile. I even texted some friends to ask what they would do. At the very least, I decided, I needed to tell my colleague about it, and so I texted her (on her day off): “There’s a sleeping cot outside our office doors.” She replied within minutes:
“I know. I saw Laura and Faith put it there yesterday.”
Laura is my daughter. Faith is her best friend.