Thursday, July 26, 2012

Joe Knows I Am....


I was eating lunch at Wahoo's on South Congress in Austin 
when I had to step outside so I could hear and take a call from Paige.
I sat down in an Adirondack chair next to a man 
with no shoes, a stack of children's books in his lap
and a small worn photo book.

You know me...
Little Miss Curious...
I had to meet him.

Hi, I am Gina.

I am Joe.

You like children's books?

I sell them.
People on the streets like to buy them from me.
I like this book right here.
You can put your family pictures in it.

Do you have a family?

I did.

Joe, are you homeless?

I am.

I'm sorry.

Don't be.
I live down there with some friends.
It's my home.
I had a nice life.
Life brought me here.

I teach school to some children who live in nice houses.
I have a brother with the most amazing house I've ever seen.
I lived in a really nice house before I divorced.
...You know what Joe?
I've realized that you can have a house and still be homeless.

He agreed.
I asked him if he knew God.
He said yes.
I asked him what he knew about God.
He said,
God is I Am.
That's all I need to know.
He is I Am.

I really wanted to hear more about his story,
his life, his understanding of God.

I had to wonder what events in his life
brought him to describe God as such.
He didn't go into detail.
He didn't give me any theological references.
He didn't supply any anecdotes,
theories or personal experiences...
no religious upbringing to support his claim...
Just a simple,
He is I Am.

What has been his journey?
What path led him to the streets of Austin...
without a job, house or family....?

The idea that I might fail and lose everything
has tried to 
tease
taunt 
and haunt me.
I fathom the possibility of
homelessness
nothingness
embarrassment
and shame....

But my mind goes back to Joe and his words...
He is I Am.
And he spoke it with such certainty.

I never really thought about or
understood exactly the meaning of 
I Am....
Sounded like something was missing...

The only thing missing was my ability
to allow God to be my Everything.

When possessions
and relationships
are lost,
you find peace in
God being enough...
or maybe some of us have to
be left with little or nothing to make room for Him.

I don't know...
but I know Joe Knows I Am...
and I am 100% certain that
I will meet Joe again one day...
and that small photo book will not
be large enough to contain all the
pictures of our new family...

I am...
 smiling.
~gina












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