Lauds, Bottle pickers, Hope Mission and Radiothon

I’m awakened this morning by the rattle of bottles, the metallic clap of a dumpster lid, and the raspy song of small hard wheels on gritty asphalt. This—for me this loaded shopping cart(sm)morning—is Lauds.

In the monastic world, Lauds is the term for the first of seven daily offices of prayer. Lauds is praise and honour of the Divine. I also take Lauds to mean honouring the unknown, through mindfulness of the past and present. Lauds, then, is attentiveness to the way things are, suspicion of logical necessity, and hospitality for the way things could be.

It’s in this spirit of Lauds that I dedicate this last Radiothon post:

I honour all our supporters; all who refuse the lie that people on the street are uniformly without ambition—that they want to be there, that they can, merely by trying, overcome the contingencies that placed them in our out-of-bounds.

I honour the hope of Hope Mission, but specifically the hope of those the Mission serves. I honour their resistance to the supposed logical necessity of their state; I honour the heroic effort to consider another way; the momentary entertainment of what could be; all the beginnings and all the follow-through’s.

Having come through another Radiothon—a special one—we honour the ‘radio people’ from 630 CHED and CISN FM who generated waves of appealing story. We honour the interviewees from the Mission who gave over pieces of their lives to listeners, like personal letters; and we honour the great circle of supporters and generous friends in and around Edmonton.

We also laud the workers and volunteers at Hope Mission who endured the elegiac air then rose to the electric hum of phone calls, quick conversation, compressed time, shared laughter.

And finally, today I honour the gentleman who pushed his many-bottled-cart past my window. I honour the engineering ingenuity of balancing the capacity of two shopping carts of bagged bottles upon one.

I honour all the latent engineers, administrators, artists, craftsmen, designers, counsellors, philologists, hiding and emerging in all the humans Hope Mission serves. 

May we all grow together to revere one another, and so, laud the speech of day, the knowledge of night, the handiwork of earth and the declarations of sky, through our common Creator.

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