Elaine walked to the Mission, exhausted. She looked forward to a warm meal in an encouraging environment, even if it only gave her relief from the street for an hour or so. As she settled into her seat to wait to go to the dining room, a young woman approached her.
“Would you like to have your feet massaged before dinner?” Callie, a volunteer, asked Elaine.
“A foot massage? Right now?” Elaine hadn’t expected this. But she’d been on her feet all day. A massage certainly would relieve some pain. She nervously followed Callie to a room just beyond the busy Chapel.
Elaine looked around the small room, lit by lamps and the sunset through open windows. There was a quiet buzz of conversation among other guests and volunteers. Elaine found a chair in the corner. She sat down, put her bags on the floor, took her shoes off and relaxed.
“Oh, I love that music,” Elaine said, closing her eyes. “It’s so peaceful.”
“Yeah, we try to make it feel relaxing in here.” Callie sat on a small stool, easing Elaine’s feet into a tub of warm water, colored pink with bath salts that gave off a peppermint aroma.