I‘ve been hitting the Yellow Deli out in Vista for years, especially in the wee hours since it is open 24/5 and a little bit more. It is only closed to observe the Sabbath as outlined in the Bible. Kinda like it used to be back in the day, from Friday at 3 p.m. until Sunday at noon.
I came to the charming deli restaurant recently with a couple that I had just sold a home to in Vista. Established in the downtown redevelopment area, The Yellow Deli was one of the first establishments to come into the area and was a pivotal player in the revitalization efforts. Intrigued by learning more of the history of the place, I was invited to have my own experience by attending their Friday Shabbat at their home. I took them up on it and I told them I would be covering my experiences for The Coast News column I wrote bi-weekly. As it turned out, I was just one of many guests that take them up on their hospitality regularly.
What does a deli have to do with enlightenment or a quest for spirituality? Let me tell you.
I went out to the compound last Friday with an open mind and I was blown away with the place, the concept, and mostly the Love. I was introduced — in the flesh — to the Spiritual Fruits of the Holy Spirit in each person I met as outlined in Galatians 5:22.
Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. This group of souls walk the walk and talk the talk. I was able to remember who God was by being among them. And in my book, God is love.
The Yellow Deli is just one of many sweet spots that span the United States and follows the Twelve Tribe doctrine straight out of the Bible. The book of Acts particularly. These folks consider themselves to be disciples of Yahshua, Jesus Christ, son of God here on earth. Picking up where the early church left off in practices of doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and prayers, they have all things in common and sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all as anyone had the need. This is all directly quoted out of Acts 2:42-47 as a way of life. “The Way the Way was when it was called “The Way,” says one of the members of the community that works at the deli.
Taking the winding rural roads in the foothills of Vista we missed the turn and even thought better of making this pilgrimage, there are a lot of rumors about it all. But we finally found the turn and braved a long driveway to the end where a large compound with patios and similar architecture as the Yellow Deli sat at the end of the dirt road, so we guessed this must be the place. We followed a little boy who was dragging his car booster seat up the stairs and I asked him if we should go this way or that way. He said quite confidently, “You can go whichever way you want.”
I felt completely at home. We were ushered by one of the household milling about to the great room and sat on the couch. Asked if we wanted anything and that dinner would begin in about 15 minutes. It was a beehive of activity and every single person that passed by welcomed us as if we were old friends and we were warmly asked if we had met them at the deli. When the time came, we were guided out to a circle in a covered patio area where several instruments were set up and there was joyful song, celebration, and prayer in recognition to the Father. Then there was a time for people to express what was on their hearts with life, the week that had passed, what lessons they had learned and taken forward with them to share with the group. If anyone had any amends to make they do this publicly and ask for forgiveness right then and there so they can move on with their lives free of the bondage of self. This was good stuff.
We then picked up our chairs and moved to the front patio where the many dinner tables were set up in Yellow Deli fashion. We were served an amazing Sockeye Salmon straight from Alaska with fresh vegetables from the gardens and salad from the Deli. We broke bread and talked about how these folks got here, what was the quest of their soul that kept them here, some history, what the future holds.
After the meal from heaven — you could literally taste the love that went in it all — we went back to the patio where music and dance continued as they praised Yahshua.
Fully devoted to loving one another — all of the time — spending any time with these folks reminds us of our own grace, the way it was when Christ dwelled on earth, and that it is possible in this crazy world, to carve out a life dedicated to your faith. They make use of the world while not being of the world and have human interaction as their authentic selves. In a time when we are snagged by creating an image of what we want the world to see us as, but being void of knowing who we really are most of the time, it is refreshing to see people serving God and giving up their ego and attachments to do it.
Working and living in splendid harmony, together as one, on a compound out in the foothills of Vista, other local area houses and a farm in Escondido adjacent to the Lavender Fields, this Tribe of Josef are living a life that is not for everyone, but fulfilling their purpose by living within a covenant that fills the God-shaped void in their souls. We can all quest and strive outside in our communities, but these folks seem to have already arrived at their own enlightenment within their communities and in the world with daily practice, souls on fire for God.
We will be heading out to Warner Springs to visit the LieuQuan Meditation Center next issue.
Susan Sullivan is a Spiritually Conscious Realtor with Windermere Homes and Estates in Carlsbad Village.