My Friend Joe {32 of 40 Stories}

My friend Joe is teaching me how to pray. He’s so good to me. Joe was at the top of my list of stories for Lent. I keep trying to write about him and the words keep failing me.

If you knew Joe, you’d understand. There are just some people who are impossible to capture in words — no matter how much I try to make the words dance. I think this is a sign of a person who is completely sold out to Christ.

In a feeble attempt to capture Joe, I’m going to make a list of the important things about Joe.

  1. Joe loves Jesus. He has a lifetime of stories to prove Jesus is real and loving and powerful. I can’t wait to hear one more story (or to listen to one again) because Joe’s stories are precious gifts. I often wonder how I get to be so lucky to be trusted with his stories.
  2. Joe prays and God answers. He’s teaching me to listen and develop a relationship with God so I can learn to pray into the will of God. He’s teaching me to respond to the Holy Spirit.
  3. Joe prays for healing. Miracles happen when Joe prays. I know his prayers are instrumental in the healing of Andy and my children’s souls.
  4. Joe knows God is big and he’s helping me to change my perspective. Joe tells me not to put God in a box, because there’s no box big enough to hold God.
  5. Joe knows what it’s like to serve God in big, public ways. He was a leader in bridging racial tension within the Church in Chicago in the ’60s. Joe knows what it’s like to serve God while being in the limelight.
  6. Joe knows what it’s like to serve God in private ways, too. He knows how to walk away from opportunities the world would say are “once in a lifetime” because God has another plan for him.
  7. Joe knows how to be sensitive to the needs of those around him, because Joe is sensitive to the Spirit.
  8. Joe’s faith grows every day. Every. Single. Day. He knows Jesus more today than he did last week and he will know Jesus better tomorrow. He inspires me to grow closer to Jesus every single day too.
  9. Joe has a special wife. Janice compliments him perfectly. When they tell stories together it is a real treat.
  10. Joe teaches me it’s okay to be bold in my faith. It’s okay to shine and it is definitely okay to leap.

Joe calls me Ruthie. There are only three people in the world who I let call me Ruthie; I wouldn’t want Joe to call me anything else. Joe is teaching me how to pray, but he is teaching me so much more. Someday, maybe, I’ll be able to capture him in words.

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