On Sunday, I served with a team from The Open Door Community at the Bay Area Rescue Mission. Open Door is filled with cross-sector leaders who are doing incredible things in our region, country and world…Darrell is one of them.
In addition to being a part of our community, he joined The Global Immersion Project’s Israeli-Palestinian Learning Lab in 2013 in which his life took a radical shift: he committed to spending his life, vocationally, on the flourishing of the marginalized.
Shortly upon our return, equipped with the practices that make for peace, Darrell found and was found by the Bay Area Rescue Mission. So strong was the pull to the Rescue Mission that a pay cut and a warehouse job seemed like a trade up to Darrell & his wife. They said “Yes!” without hesitation…but this is becoming a habit for these two. They’re actually convinced that the downwardly mobile journey of the Cross is where life, joy and flourishing are found.
After serving a gourmet Christmas dinner to 200+ friends who call the Rescue Mission neighborhood, “home,” we were given an orientation to their work and a behind-the-scenes tour by Darrell. I learned that this organization is contributing significantly to the work of peacemaking by actively restoring back into society men and women who have long been victims of various addictions. I left stunned at the legacy and impact of the Bay Area Rescue Mission. I’ll be back.
One moment stuck out to me more than any other, though. That moment was when Darrell, after giving us a detailed tour of the warehouse, said, referring to “his” warehouse, “This is where heaven meets earth.”
I loved when he said it. I love it even more, having thought about it for a few days.
The warehouse at the Rescue Mission is a small part of this world where generosity collides with recovery and where human flourishing is the result.
Here’s what I mean: The warehouse stores the generous gifts of individuals and corporations who believe in the mission. The warehouse also serves as a place of vocational training for men who are in recovery and a part of the 14 month program. Finally, the warehouse is the place where men in recovery who are regaining their dignity are empowered to distribute what has so generously been given to those who are in dire need. The result? Human flourishing for all involved: Darrell flourishes, the men in the program flourish, and those benefiting from the generosity flourish.
Heaven does in fact meet earth when generosity collides with recovery and fuels human flourishing.
Questions in search of answers:
- How are you contributing to “heaven meeting earth?”
- In what ways are you spending your life on the flourishing of others?
- Is life/joy/fullness found in society’s upwardly mobile journey or in Jesus’ downwardly mobile journey through the Cross to the Resurrection?