Friday, August 14, 2009


Scripture: Hebrews 6:10
“For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers” NLT

Many years ago during one of our family trips into New York City we stopped at a stop light in the Bowery of New York City. Immediately upon stopping a homeless street person approached our car --- spit on the windshield --- and pulled an old dirty rag out of a pocket and began to wash our windshield. I opened my window and handed the homeless street person a dollar. While all this was happening Carol was praying for the windshield washer. We never saw that person again but perhaps his name was Joe as in today’s story.

Joe was a drunk who was miraculously converted at a Bowery New York City mission. Prior to his conversion, he had gained the reputation of being a dirty wino for which there was no hope, only a miserable existence in the ghetto. But following his conversion to a new life in Christ, everything changed.

Joe became the most caring person that anyone associated with the mission had ever known. Joe spent his days and nights hanging out at the mission doing whatever needed to be done. There was never anything that he was asked to do that he considered beneath him --- whether it was cleaning up the vomit left by some violently sick alcoholic or scrubbing toilets. Joe did what was asked with a smile on his face and beaming gratitude for the chance to help. He could be counted on to feed whoever wondered off the street and into the mission. He faithfully tucked into bed men who were stoned or drunk and unable to take care of themselves.

One evening, when the director of the mission was delivering an evangelistic message the usual crowd of sullen men with drooped heads was present to hear --- there was one frequenter in the bunch who stood up in answer to the alter call. He came down the aisle and knelt to pray at the altar. He was crying out to God to help him change. The repentant drunk kept shouting, "Oh God --- Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe!"

The director of the mission leaned over and said to the man as he knelt at the altar, "Son, I think it would be better if you prayed, make me like Jesus." The man looked up at the director with a quizzical expression on his face and asked, "Is he like Joe?"

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