Peterborough Theatre Guild’s production of “Frozen Dreams” by Robert Ainsworth, carries a message for all of us about our need for a secure, safe, “heart” home. Set in a cluster of three cardboard boxes on a city street, we were shown that whether we are in the safety and security of our homes or living on the street, we need a place we call home. We need shelter for sure. We also need a place where we find safety for our souls, a heart home in which we experience safe love of family. No wonder Jesus talked so much about loving one another.
In the play, someone, motivated by goodwill on Christmas Eve, gives a frozen turkey to a young man named Rainman, living on the street. He and his three buddies, much older street people, search for a way to cook the turkey for their Christmas dinner. This very important surface message urged us to think about the gifts we give. It’s good to share, yes, but use wisdom in sharing.
There were two deeper lessons as well. The constant harassment by a police officer reminded us of the need for a safe, secure, physical home, even it is a cardboard box containing all our belongings.
What touched my heart even more was the lesson that developed as young Rainman, played by Tynan O’Driscoll, shared his memories of Christmas and the death of his mother. His need for soul safety, for that heart home was so raw, the pain seared my own soul. From my second-row seat, I wanted to reach out and hold, not just him, but all the characters in that play.
Of course, I knew about the impact of homelessness before the play. At least, I knew it in my head. “Frozen Dreams” allowed that knowledge to move into my heart. Never again will I see those tents in front of one of our Peterborough churches and encounter a group of street people clustered in a corner on a city street, without feeling those lessons in my heart.
I sign my book about homelessness, A Place Called Home, with the words, “Your home is where your heart is.” Thanks to the play, “Frozen Dreams”, the truth of that statement for all of us is burned within my heart.