Monday, April 7, 2008

What's in a Name? .... Joey

(click the picture to enlarge)

Today I had lunch with this man. His name is Joey ... and his name means, God will increase, enlarge ... multiply. I never really thought much about that before today, even though I gave him that name twenty-four years ago. I never realized to what extent he would live up to that name.

We didn't talk about his name today. Instead we spoke of the poor, and not the physically poor, but the poor of spirit and the homeless. This child of mine gripped my heart all over again today. I listened to him tell me the stories of the people he sees every Sunday afternoon at three o'clock. He is always there, and they trickle in. He feeds them. He feeds them scripture and he feeds them wisdom ... wisdom far beyond his young years. They feed him strength, and he is their trumpet, and their hope for something better.

He has no fear. I do. He has strength. I have none. He has belief. I am scared. I am his Mother, and I want him to be safe. So I dwell on the good that he is doing ... and I pray for God to keep him safe.

When I gave it more thought, it awed me to think that forty-five thousand people can be exiting Busch Stadium, after a ballgame, in St. Louis, Missouri on any given Sunday afternoon ... and it is "my kid" that is standing beside the Arch, the gateway to the west, preaching to the homeless. It is my kid, who has given his heart to Jesus and who is destined to increase, enlarge and multiply.

Just like in "The Field of Dreams" ... if he builds it, they will come. ... and they are. One homeless person at a time. One baseball spectator at a time. One person at a time. ... and he is leading them, and they keep coming back, every Sunday afternoon at three o'clock.

I know now what "Joey" stands for ... it means that he will draw them in. From the streets, the gutters, the bars, and the alleyways of downtown St. Louis. .... and they will increase, enlarge and multiply. They will come, and they will listen ... and he will be heard.

In two weeks, I will be there with Joey as he preaches beside the Arch in downtown St. Louis ... and I won't have fear.

Be Blessed Everyone.

My real fear will be when he leaves for a mission trip to India next month. I want to keep him grounded, guarded and protected ... but he is on a mission. A mission for God ... and a mission that I can't stand in his way.