Yesterday was easily the hardest day at work I have ever had. I struggled with the balance of truth and grace that we try to live out at Mary’s Place. Yesterday, the truth came down too hard, and the consequences were devastating. Yet necessary. I watched a family fall apart. I whispered prayers of safety over a child I know I will never see again. I applied pressure to a wound and remained calm when needed. I told jokes to lighten the mood, trying to crack smiles where there had been fear. I offered my shoulder, for tears, for stability.
There are days that my job is pure joy. Laughter. Singing. Lots of hugs.
Yesterday was not one of those days. The end of the day left me weaker than drained. My heart hurt for the pain I witnessed in just a few short hours. My head swam with pitiful prayers and recalls of what I could have done better.
In the world of homelessness, it seems that every emotion is felt so much deeper. Joy is more jubilant. Pain is more wretched. Laughter is more contagious. Heartbreak is more permanent.