One summer, as I was living and working as an assistant at a L’Arche house, a woman named Sue came to visit us. She was a nomad of sorts, superficially you could call her homeless. She’d cut off most connection to her family, mainly because of some religious fanaticism which seemed to be spurned and or fostered by mental illness. But the very nature of L’Arche, kept the doors humbly and widely open to people like Sue.
Sue, drawn to L’Arche by the religious nature of it’s beginnings and philosophy, came to help with domestic things. Tasks like pulling weeds and keeping the floors cleaned seemed to please her and it helped us quite a bit. Sue gathered at the community table for meals, helped pick up the kitchen and do dishes, but then mainly, as evening settled in, kept to herself. After dinner she’d trudge up the short flight of stairs to her guest room, closing the door behind her. And there, she would remain in her own mystery, hidden away, reemerging only with the dawn.