This is the story about this picture, a picture I call “comfort and joy.”
It is a porta potty at a building site near where I live, halfway between Crossroads House, the shelter for people who are unhoused and the downtown of Portsmouth. Work has stopped on the site till spring, but they have left the porta potty up and every day when I walk the dog past it, there are many, many new footprints in the snow. They did not just leave up the comfort station, but also the holiday lights which turn on at four in the afternoon and off at ten.
God, I am so grateful
for those who have given me comfort
in this long and difficult season,
for those who have given me
moments of joy,
and especially for those who know
how to offer both freely …
and that everyone who passes by
is magi and needs
both smelly oasis and twinkling star.
Help me not to be ashamed
to leave my footsteps here,
and teach me, not only to offer
tidings of comfort and joy,
but also the real thing
in toilet paper, tampons,
a big Mac and fries
for the car behind me
and shared laughter, stories,
new make-up, masks that are silly,
and the real star Story
that blesses us everyone. amen
Maren C. Tirabassi’s newest book is “Christmas Eve at the Epsom Circle McDonald’s and Other Poems” and she blogs at http://firstname.lastname@example.org/ She’s a UCC, US, pastor and a writer and lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
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