Stories that Inspire.

Victories to Celebrate.


The Dignity of Work

After being recently dismissed, Victor returned to the Mission’s Life Recovery Program to give it another try. He was welcomed back by the other guys in program, got his things unpacked, and set up near his old bed. Then he said he wanted to head to the thrift store for his vocational training.

He was probably exhausted. Being homeless is hard, and the program is not easy. We normally give new intakes a day or two to recover from the difficult life they’ve been living. But Victor declined, and said he wanted to get back to work.

Participants in our program have been volunteering at Central Coast Super Thrift (CCST) since 2008. The store provides a wonderful service to our community. Our customers get a great deal on things they need, and the profits all go to support ministry.

Victor probably spent his first day there sorting through new donations, separating the clothing from the household items. In all likelihood, Victor didn’t have a particularly productive day that first day. But it served exactly the purpose for him that we intend: he had something to do, and he felt the dignity of work.

In Luke Chapter 12, Jesus tells a parable of a farmer. That year the farmer had an abundant harvest, and he decides to build larger barns to hold it. His motive: “Take life easy. Eat, drink and be merry.” God has blessed his hard work with abundance, and he mistakes that abundance as an opportunity to stop working. Jesus refers to this person as a fool because he misses the point of work. This man had something to do, and he missed out on the dignity of work.

Victor has been back in the program for more than a month now, and he appreciates it far more than the first time. He understands his life does not belong to him. Any abundance that comes his way should not be spent on his comfort or security. God has a plan for his life. God has given him something to do, and Victor will get to relish in the dignity of work.

Maybe Victor will meet another person who struggles with what he used to struggle with. He will disciple him, and help keep him accountable, and connect that person to the Mission so he can get help too. Whatever is in his future, he’ll understand the dignity of work that he gets from his God.

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