Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Never When the Surf is Up Carpentry Company

A few summers ago, I had the privilege to travel to San Diego with my family. We decided to try something different and camp out along Mission Bay to recapture a sense of the Mexico beach camping trips of my youth. But camping in the heart of San Diego is far from the experience of camping in Colorado. You are camping with In-N-Out Burger just around the corner and you are never far from a Starbucks. Every morning, I succumbed to the need for a really good cup of coffee. And dinner often found us having the best hamburger, fry and shake. It was one of the best camping trips ever. Now, if we could only talk In-N-Out Burger into opening in Colorado.

One morning while waiting in line at Starbucks, I noticed the t-shirt on the man in front of me. In a bid to market his business, his shirt announced to the world that he worked for the Never When the Surf is Up Carpentry Company. On that morning, presumably, the surf wasn’t up or even surf must wait for Starbucks. But after seeing his shirt and his long hair, I thought about Jesus’ own likely career as a carpenter. Perhaps Jesus would have worn a shirt that advertised Joseph and Sons’ Carpentry Company. Or better yet, the Never when People are Sick, Poor or Hurting Carpentry Company. The reality was that Jesus worked and in all likelihood he would have been familiar with the smell of sawdust and the hammer of nails. As the bumper sticker declares “Our Boss is a Jewish Carpenter.”

Jump 2000 years till today and I believe Jesus would have loved visiting Bud’s Warehouse. Right in the heart of our mission is the declaration that we are a place for second chances—the second chance of the Gospel to restore lives being rebuilt from addiction or prison. And the second chance for new and used building materials once headed for storage or the dump.

I believe Jesus would have enjoyed spending time with our customers—people from the city without a lot of money for home fix up projects. And people from the suburbs drawn by the good deals and maybe captured by the sense that there is something different going on at Bud’s Warehouse.

Most of all I believe Jesus would have loved developing a relationship with our staff. Jesus loved declaring blessed that which the world has decided to ignore or forget. Jesus announced God’s favor for the poor, the imprisoned, and the meek. He restored that which is broken to the fullness which God intended.

I love when I’m asked by someone to tell them about what makes this place so special. It’s a God thing. Jesus is truly building something wonderful in the various projects of Belay Enterprises. I have an idea for a t-shirt we wear together—“They will know we are Christians by our love Construction Company.”

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