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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Joanne-1965 Part 1

I wonder if she sees the rich and comfortable as the one's most needing of God's mercy and grace? "If you don't believe that we are living in the year 1965, you are evil," proclaimed Joanne.  Joanne, was the homeless woman my husband and sons brought home recently. She needed food, rest and overnight shelter.  She was in our living room during our nightly worship and Bible study time.  She was quiet.  Her eyes reflected years of pain, confusion and sadness.  Her eyes were far off in thought.  Her outward appearance was not matching her eloquence in speech or manners.  You could see the years of wandering had consumed her mind.

"The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and new sight to the blind, to set at liberty those having been crushed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18-19

Jesus, left His example for us to follow.  It seems sometimes easier to share the Gospel of the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who are pretty or at least, like they have it all together on the outside. 

Notice our Savior's command found in the above verse: "...proclaim the Gospel to the poor."

In Joanne's mind, she was still living in the year 1965. Despite her scattered disjointed reasoning - she retained a truth. She understood Jesus' purpose for coming, dying and living again for a fallen mankind. To her, Jesus died at four years old - maybe really trying to tell us that she died in her mind and soul at a very young age.  Who can possibly know but God Himself. What would drive a human being to such a state of confusion and despair?  Whatever happened to her long ago - and the effects it has had on her inability to reason still does not disqualify her from hearing of God's love for her.

She refused the gospel.  She mocked the gospel.  She refused our message and rejected Jesus Christ.  She embraced creation rather than the creator. 

"...who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator." Romans 1:25

Most today, have already forgotten this type of scene played out all over America during the Great Depression. The comfortable and well-off were homeless and penniless within days after the "crash." How many "Joanne's" will we pass by during our busy lives?  Granted, I was a little nervous the evening she arrived at our home.  My husband gently reminded me though, that he wouldn't put his family in harms way.  I have trusted our Lord on many other occasions when he has rescued various other "Joanne's."  The Lord reminded me He created Joanne. He made her wonderfully and fearfully, just as He said of me.

Joanne is His creation.

Christian music artist, Steven Curtis Chapman wrote once,

"So you think love is only for the good enough And one thing you're never gonna' be worthy of.  But, there's a song being sung over you by the One who breathes life into you."

I get it. God is truly no respecter of person. Joanne and I needed the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. I have his gift of eternal life but she doesn't yet. Who will tell her if I don't?

"And I brethren, when I came to you, I did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified."  1 Corinthians 2: 1-2

I pray with a humbled heart:

"My dearest Savior, we want to thank you for your precious gift of salvation.  May we never take it for grant it but rather that the praise of Salvation be continually in our mouths.  Father, may we not only be thankful but Father may we search for the "Joanne's" of this world and tell them of your Son, Jesus Christ.  May we ever be so bold not forgetting that many around this world get killed for what we are afraid to do because we don't want to be ridiculed.  Father, thank you for your patience with we your children! We love you our dear Heavenly Father! In the name of our sweet Savior and Lord of all, Jesus Christ. Amen."

In Him,

Elaine Bateman



Blogger Denise said...

Awesomely beautiful, thank you.

March 6, 2008 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Wow. Ouch. Thanks for your boldness - both in your obedience and in sharing.

March 6, 2008 at 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Elaine, for simply reminding us all that it isn't someone else's job to minister, it is a job given to all of us by Jesus because he loves . . . "the least of these. . . "
Thank you,

March 6, 2008 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

How very well said! What an inspiration and life your family must have been for her. Way to go! Cindi

March 6, 2008 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger lori said...

I read this post and a Chris Rice song popped into my head...
" Cause when I stoop down low, look him square in the eye
I get a funny feeling, I just might be dealing
With the face of Christ"

powerful.....truly powerful!!!
It is US who have been called..not someone else!
thank you for the reminder!

March 6, 2008 at 12:57 PM  

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