Of Hearts and Houses

It’s what inside that counts. No place knows this better than the small dwelling beside Holy Infant Catholic Church, on Nancy Place. A cookie-cutter house erected long before my own story began, it has since been redesigned, repurposed, and refurbished. It now receives the ever-fluctuating, ever-fractured, always-faithful collection of students that gather for bi-weekly Youth Ministry. A step through the front door is a step into another dimension–one without worries or fatigue. It might have been two days since the last visit, or it may have been six weeks–Will and Tim are always there to offer a smile, a slap, and a warm embrace as the perfect welcome. Friends and families all join as one in the boisterous gathering room. FIFA glows silently in the corner amongst a cloud of enthralled fanatics while ping-pong clatters behind the overstuffed couch and the wall of merrily conversing spectators. It isn’t until Tim gives the official summon that things quiet down just as they’re starting to get dialed up. Rows of teens flood the door, filing into the dimly lit room, lightened only by the stage lights and the peaceful scene cast from the projector. A brief introduction leads into heartfelt speeches and discussions. Souls are laid bare as presenters inspire the masses and the recipients then pour out their own spirits’ wisdom. It all wraps up as leaders and followers join together, grasping firm and slack hands alike, to offer all they are in joyous praise that warms even the most insulated of hearts.

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