Two years ago tomorrow we began Joseph House by walking with Qwan the day he was released from solitary confinement at Santa Rosa CI. I invited Sonya and Brian on this journey by seeing if they could pick Qwan up one Sunday afternoon at the Tallahassee Bus Station. They did. And there began, in my estimation, the mission of Joseph House.
Qwan will be released off probation and no longer under the control of the state starting tomorrow.
One year and one day later, Joseph House had another origin-day, so to speak. We opened our house to Joe. Arriving from Montgomery, after spending a year with the staff at EJI, Joe made his home with us on Bradford Rd.
All who know Joe, know that he has a knack for drawing people closer. Joe builds community and he has done just that. Here are a few pics proving the point.
The great discovery I’ve happened upon over this past year is how vital community is in creating justice. When we make relationships the priority we keep from falling into abstract ideologies that only further divide. But when we sit and eat together. When we listen to each other’s stories. When we hear each other cry, laugh or dream out loud. When we till, plant, and water together, something happens and the words “on earth as it is in heaven” becomes a reality here. It’s easy to preach and debate. It’s easy to join in the echo chamber of today’s vapid culture wars. It’s something else entirely to walk alongside those who have been cast aside and awaken to the sublime truth that God is very close to the most vulnerable probably because God chose to become powerless so as to enter into relationship with all of creation. This for me has become a discernible truth. Love makes all things beautiful and just. Look at where we began on 302 E Bradford and where we are now.
Then we did some dreaming…
And went to work…
And now we can speak of Joseph House gardens!
We look forward to our third year of accompanying those returning home. We know the journey is always filled more with zigzags than a straight line. We know setbacks and frustrations await us. But we also know that Jesus said his burden is light and his yoke is easy especially when we embark upon these journeys together. For now, we are grateful to have a home. And look forward to possibly more homes for those retuning back to us!
Thank you all for making this journey with us. We look forward to expanding our mission with you all alongside us!