I've crossed the line in my packing; my room now looks like I'm moving out. The shelves are empty and an obelisk of Corona and Brooklyn Brewery IPA boxes dominates the middle the room. Everything is off the walls except for the crucifix, because I shall need it to move.
See, I have some little rituals that go along with moving, and one of them is that I try to move the Lord into a space before anything else. I walk in with the crucifix and put it somewhere before I move in anything else. This particular crucifix is dear to me; it's a simple one of olive wood that I bought in Jerusalem in 1994. Because I was so picky about the plainness I was looking for, I got into a big conversation with the shopkeeper and ended up having to look at a photo album of his relatives in the States while we shared some bread and water.
I carried my new crucifix when we made the Stations of the Cross, and I have had it in my room ever since. That's a lot of places; since going away to college twenty years ago, I have lived at twelve different addresses, not counting summers. Throw summer assignments in there, and I have lived at seventeen addresses in five states and four countries.
My habit of 'moving the Lord in first' once helped me hit it off with a building superintendent and his assistant. One of them said, "Wow, a cool tenant." I consider that to be one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. To be fair, since they were still finishing up some painting, I took a break from moving to go across the street to get a sandwich from the deli, and I offered to get them something. So even if it was the sandwiches that made me seem cool, I like to think some of it was moving the Lord in first.