As they help renovate homes in North Carolina, members of the St. Peter’s youth group from Morristown are gaining a deeper understanding of just what make a house a home.
Today, we are working only half a day. As our last day to work, I look at our progress. I go into the house and look down at the floor and see, as though for the first time, how much work it needs. What do you think is the most important part of a house? In order for it to be a home? The walls, the ceiling, the air conditioning?
It’s the floor. Seeing this house without a floor was like looking into someone’s eyes and being able to tell that no one loves them. It was one of the most horrible things I have ever seen.
On this trip I’m done being sad, feeling bad, and depressed. This was someone’s home, and beneath the grid of broken boards was dry rot, garbage, and there was a rat seen. Usually where there is one rat, there are others; a colony of evil thoughts in an innocent mind.
No matter how fast we build today, we will not provide all the help this house needs. We will not be able to finish securing this foundation, we will not finish taking out all the rotten boards. And although another group will come next week, and another the week after that, this home might be empty, with out its most important piece.
A price paid for a life of service, a life of housing a person, letting them walk across its weakening floors until it gave out completely, and now is at a loss, frozen in time where it no longer can be loved and lived in. Suddenly, it’s abandoned and told it is unsafe.
The very soul of this house is damaged. Eventually it will be whole. But when I leave this house it will be alone, and hurt. This house will have no floor to support others, like it was built to do. No life, and a broken soul–that’s what really kills a house. Fallen from being loved to pieces, the floor we started to build WILL stand stronger and longer than the last one.
Happy Fourth of July, America.
By Mary Wooley (age 14)