We most certainly see the beauty of Joseph’s House every day in its structure. In its’ shape, color and form as it is a visual delight. From its grand porches and pillars and expansive yard, to the curved, swirled ceiling in our dining room and over-sized double-hung transom windows in bowed sets of three, it is truly aesthetically pleasing to the all the senses. As one traces the length of silken wood on the 120-year-old banister and witnesses the gleam of sunlit stained-glass and the elegant simplicity of our magnificent chapel, we are taken aback, as it does not seem possible this majestic home is ours, even after 5 years. Delectable aromas wafting from the kitchen and the scents of sleeping newborn babies’ breath fill the air daily. Then there is the beauty of the moms and the children. The laughter, the excitement, the joy that is expressed in a multitude of ways through the ups and downs of life in community.
All of this physical beauty along with the care taken and the cleanliness insisted upon in maintaining our home is something that has many times brought tears to the eyes of young women entering our doors. So many times, moms tell us they have never had their own bed or their own pillow. They have slept on a couch or in a chair for most of their young lives. They have always shared a room with other siblings and were accustomed to cramped spaces many times overridden with clutter and junk. For them there is an abundance of beauty in the order of our home, in the rules & expectations. There is beauty in bread on the counter, milk in the fridge, a stocked freezer and pantry because many times they come to us hungry as they have been starving themselves to hide their pregnancies or have sacrificed their food for younger siblings.
The beauty of Joseph’s House is one hundred-fold as it shines through the eyes of our moms and kids and is expressed to us through their kind words, their heart-felt thanks and their reliance on what they come to learn while with us. It comes in their special surprise birthday cakes and celebrations for staff and one another. Beauty is evident as you see an anxious mom deliberately but excitingly pull out of the driveway for the first time ever, taking her first driving lesson and then observe the fear, eagerness and anticipation as she makes the appointment for her road test. It is evident when the entire home rallies around a mom who is ill for an extended period and they bow their heads in prayer, many times not believing in it and then astounded as they see first-hand their prayers being answered. The wonder in their eyes brims over as they come to understand God hears THEM, God knows THEM, God has love for THEM.
The beauty of Joseph’s House will be evident today as our home overflows with moms and kids from our past joining us to take part in our annual Easter Egg Hunt along with the 8 moms and 7 little ones with us now. (We are also anticipating the arrival of 3 more newborns in the next few months.) We will hear the squeals of delight from children from infants to 9 years of age as they race around searching for plastic eggs and cover themselves in frosting and sprinkles while icing their bunny cookies. We will see the gratification in their eyes as they become giddy with the sweetness of candy and the curiosity exhibited as they cautiously greet the Easter Bunny.
Today we will witness a kind of beauty we only encounter when doing something for others that is totally unexpected by them, something that may have never been done for them before, something catching them so off guard that the action physically manifests the love of Jesus Christ. The love He holds in His Heart for each and every one of them and for each and every one of us, whether we know it or not. I have witnessed this kind of manifestation of God’s love and I can tell you emphatically it is the most tender, warm and genuinely intoxicating emotion I can ever recall. The greatest gift God has given me is to be able to witness Joseph’s House manifesting His love for others, manifesting His love for His most precious, His most vulnerable children.
Our story began with the beauty that comes from tragedy and has grown into a mission that is good because it is founded in God and teaches truth. Our Lord has penetrated our very being with His most generous mercy and love allowing us to pay the same mercy & love forward. Because Joseph’s House is of God, it raises the hearts, minds and souls of everyone coming to us from visitors to staff, to volunteers as well as our moms and little ones, to Heaven. It gives everyone the hope and understanding Jesus Christ is there for them, as He has been and is for all of us. Joseph’s House is an avenue of hope given by God through beauty, to open the hearts of His most precious children to His goodness and truth. Thus giving them the understanding, He knows who they are.
This bountiful beauty of God is given to us to cultivate through goodness and truth and foster into a font of light, mercy and hope that will, with His grace, exceed our longevity so that it’s exquisite nature and richness can encourage moms and children for generations to come. We couldn’t be more blessed to be a small part of the beauty Our Lord has planned for the future of all He sends our way and we will forever strive to instill within them goodness and truth through an encounter with the beauty and love of Jesus Christ in our home. We invite you to come visit us to learn more and we wish you a most blessed Passion Sunday & Holy Week. God bless you my friends.
Love & Prayers,