Give Me Shelter, Part 2

Shelter building

As of this morning, the new shelter/office building looks like this.  I went out there to interview some of the roofing and HVAC guys.

What a difference 6 months can make!  It looks like a real building now, with a roof and everything.  It’s not just a very large hole in the ground anymore.  Amazing!  It’s wonderful to think I get to be a part of something as important as this.  Homeless families in Shelton will have up-to-date  housing and learn skills to help transition them into better lives. I know I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating.

Meanwhile, the owner of the rental Jody and his father vacated has returned.  He’s cleaning it up and repairing it for the next occupant.  Sigh.  The cycle continues.

Shelter is one of those of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  Remember learning about them?  Wikipedia says:

The most fundamental and basic four layers of the pyramid contain what Maslow called “deficiency needs” or “d-needs”: esteem, friendship and love, security, and physical needs. If these “deficiency needs” are not met – with the exception of the most fundamental (physiological) need – there may not be a physical indication, but the individual will feel anxious and tense. Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher level needs. Maslow also coined the term Metamotivation to describe the motivation of people who go beyond the scope of the basic needs and strive for constant betterment.


Oddly, Maslow never formed them into a pyramid.  I think it’s sort of cool a pyramid is also a shelter of sorts, albeit for dead pharaohs.  Still.

Shelter falls into the orange layer: “security of body”, etc.  Frankly, looking at this list now, the lowest level seems a bit primitive.  But I guess we wouldn’t exist without the ability to breathe or water of some kind.  I’ve lived without knowing what homeostasis was for my entire life.  Think I’ll keep that streak alive.  Maslow also said we move through these needs, back and forth, all the time.  Fascinating.

As I ponder the importance of safety and security, I remember Jody and his family.  I think of the other families who won’t have to be on the street anymore.  I think my own family, snug in our house.  It’s a blessing to have a house of our own.  Sure, we complain sometimes about its foibles.  We can always fix it up.

And yet…what if it burned down? A small fire blazed on the hillside behind our house just last summer.  I heard on the news last night that a fire chief, fighting raging forest fires in Big Sur, California, was the first to lose her house to the insatiable flames.  What then?

Ultimately, the Lord is our shelter.  Always. He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He doesn’t burn down or get flooded out. He is strong and mighty to save.  He is a fortress.  Come what may.


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