Pacifier for the Soul

I believe anyone, anywhere, living under any environmental conditions can find comfort and solace simply by doing a little humming or singing.  The truth of that thought was confirmed for me several weeks ago from my hotel room in Washington, DC.

At first I didn’t see him.  My window provided a view of buildings in various stages of tear down, remodel or start from scratch.  The foreground view was a large parking lot.  Other than the hustling energy of the entire scene, nothing captured my attention until I noticed a carefully constructed little “dwelling” on the corner of the parking lot.  It was a combination of cardboard boxes, plastic sheeting, a tattered black and white umbrella and a weathered sofa cushion.  An equally tattered and weathered man sat on the seat surrounded by his stuff and sheltered by his umbrella.

I can’t call this gentleman “homeless” because his living area was obviously home to him.  Breakfast and lunch came at some time when I was not at the window but he obviously was getting food from someone.  He ate slowly and deliberately, occasionally tossing bread crusts to the clusters of pigeons who eagerly joined him in his living room.

Since I tend to be a busybody, I wanted a closer look at this fellow and his cleverly designed box house.  I took the elevator to the lobby and exited across the street from him.  His back was to me; the umbrella was down.  I edged closer.  I wasn’t sure but thought I heard him singing; yes he was!  He was singing and occasionally yelling the nearly right notes to “Jingle Bells”.  I stood there long enough to realize that song was probably the extent of his repertoire.  But his heart was in it, the pigeons were pleased and my spirit was touched.  The circumstances that may have brought him to his “box house” living conditions obviously did not squelch his desire to sing.


  1. What a beautiful story – it warmed my heart. I find myself wishing I could do something to help that man. And yet, he is content in his world and happy enough in his soul to sing “Jingle Bells.” Who are we to judge? I can just see Marilyn creeping up to get a closer look! That is so Marilyn!

  2. Music does sooth the soul. A dear friend of mine passed away at home from cancer yesterday. As his body was taken out the door by the funeral home attendants, the pastor started humming an old hymn and it calmed us all. For me, when I’m surrounded by God’s wondrous creations on earth, I can’t help but start singing “How Great Thou Art”!

  3. Thank you for the story. Even though he did not fit into societys outlook or place for him. God still had a place. Does anyone know of a community of christians where one can be themselves and accepted with their faults?

  4. 1 year ago
    Marie Christine RAMSAMY says

    What an amazing story. True that the Holy Spirit puts a song in our heart. The mere fact of someone humming or singing is shows that there is peace and joy in his heart. Let us all sing and hum all through the day.