Our first full day in San Francisco was wonderful because it was filled with beautiful music and a great message.
Bevan Dufty, the man Corey has been seeing for the past year and a half, invited Mark and I to attend a church service that he says has been spiritually fulfilling for him since his mom introduced him to it in 1971. The church is called Glide and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It’s located in one of San Francisco’s poorest neighborhoods and provides three meals a day, 364 days a year to the city’s poor, homeless and hungry. Glide’s services don’t mention God or Jesus, but instead focus on love and community. The service Mark and I attended was full of joyful music and amazing vocalists and people from all walks of life were there.
On the day Mark, Bevan and I attended, the sermon was about neighbors and asked the question “Who are our neighbors?” The answer of course is whoever needs us, something I learned firsthand on the drive to San Francisco. During the service I got the feeling that no one in Glide’s congregation would walk by a neighbor in need without offering help.
After spending a little time around town with Bevan, it is obvious that he is comfortable in the role of offering help to those in need. When Glide’s service was over we met up with Corey for brunch and while we were waiting on the sidewalk for a table to open up, Bevan saw a homeless veteran asking for money on the street. Bevan walked up to the man to give him some money and his business card and the veteran looked at it and said, “You’re Bevan Dufty? I’ve been hoping to meet you for two years. I heard you can help me get housing.”
Bevan is the Director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE) in San Francisco. HOPE is dedicated to addressing homeless services and better outcomes for individuals who are homeless or live in supportive housing. This is an around-the-clock job for Bevan because this kind of need doesn’t have business hours, especially in San Francisco.
I often talk about coincidences, God moments and my heightened awareness of such things. Well, it was a wonderful coincidence that we arrived in San Francisco on the Sunday that the message at Glide was to love thy neighbor and then we end up spending a week with a guy who lives that message. Bevan makes helping others seem so effortless that it inspires me to look for opportunities to do the same. I may not have the guts to go up to a homeless person but I know I can make a difference in someone’s life in other ways whether it’s giving hope to my children or lending an ear to someone who’s lonely.
Thank you for being a great neighbor. I am in awe of your fairness and love for people and are thankful you are in Corey’s life.