Lives in Bloom at the Clarksburg Mission
And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The one thing no person can control is the circumstance of their birth. We had no say in whether our parents were rich or poor, where we were born, where we would grow up. As we get older, we must either overcome or take advantage of whatever situation we were placed in by chance of birth. For some, we succeed, flowering into what God’s plan for us may be. For others, things become complicated.
Addiction, unemployment, natural disaster, war, anything can uproot us. No matter how fertile the ground where we were sown, sometimes we find thorns.
And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
There is no uniform path to homelessness. Every person has faced a different drought. For William, mental illness and a criminal record combined to break him. He spent 10 years going from jail to hospital to shelter and back again. He had lost faith in everything, most of all himself. Guilt and shame darkened his heart, anxiety and depression. When he came to the Clarksburg Mission, he had no hope of anything changing. He was tired, alone, and afraid.
But seeds can lie dormant for years before sprouting into something magnificent. William found a job, found an apartment, found friends he could rely on and who could rely on him. William has been at his job for nearly five years, and while his anxieties still bother him, he has grown closer and closer to what God would have him become.
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
This spring we will be raising funds for Lives in Bloom. All of our residents come to us from the thorns and briars of life, looking for good soil and warm days to take root. Your donations in this name will go towards our Resurrection Program and our Sober Living Houses. We are planning to open another dorm, because there is no shortage of people who need help. Those who come to us will be looking for new fields, away from the weeds of their past.To do this, we need to renovate a currently empty living space, turning it back into a usable dormitory for eight men. We need to renovate the bathroom and kitchen area. We will also need to hire new staff to help these men as they grow under God’s light. They will attend classes and recovery meetings, honestly facing their addictions and troubles. They will go to bible studies, devotions, and church, becoming a member of a new family. Once they are ready, they will find work, a stable job that they can use to provide for themselves. And when it is time, the harvest comes when they find their own place to live. They will still be tied to the family and community they find here, but they will bloom in God’s light.