Friday, February 10

homeless joe

is there ever someone very random who is constantly on your mind and you're unsure as to why? well if you've ever been in the same boat i am, its quite interesting how someone can capture a majority of our thoughts...

when i worked at the bank of america building downtown on peachtree street i had to park in an outdoor parking lot near a little restaurant across the street from our building. there, many homeless people would come and ask for money and whatever else you may have in your hands. one man would walk me to work a few times a week. in rain he'd ask if i wanted him to hold my umbrella, and most other times he'd just say "good morning miss ali" and walk in silence with me and made sure no one else bothered me. it wasnt till this became our routine that i asked him his name to which he replied, just call me homeless joe.

he never asked for money or anything actually. i would make sure to wrap up my AM phone convo with my mom so i wasn't rude if joe wanted to chat. on the days i would bring in a case of diet coke for my desk, i'd give him a few and if they were cold, he'd be especially thankful and a few times i went outside of my comfort zone and gave him money he never asked for. he promised he'd earn it so from that day on when it was time for me to leave work on the days that i saw him he'd jump out in the middle of the street and put up his hands and stop traffic and wave me out of my lot saying "come on miss ali" and id smile and wave as he waved back. my joe actually met homeless joe as well one night when we were going to the fox for a musical. he waved us down and joe and him shook hands as we chatted. homeless joe let us know where there were still parking spots left down the street and sure enough, he was right.

as my job wrapped up, i saw less and less of joe until one day i didnt see him anymore at all. it often has me wondering what he's up to and maybe thats why he's been on my mind a lot lately. every other monday on my way back from grady, i drive the long way home, down peachtree with hopes that i will see homeless joe. he may not recognize me in a different car now and 2 years later i'm sure we've both changed. my prayer list still has homeless joe, praying that wherever he may be he is okay and part of me hopes i'll never see him again because surly he's moved on to bigger and better things...

i guess the point of this lesson for me was something that i was reminded of in discipleship class this past week. we are not to pass judgment on the circumstances of others.

"and not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us" ~Romans 5:3-5

if anyone sees an overly gracious, tall, sweet, homeless man down on peachtree, ask him if he's homeless joe and if so, be sure to tell him miss ali says hello.

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