“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I made an appointment with God.
Well… Not exactly… I made an appointment with Jenny, to talk about God… Same thing right?
At Michelangelo’s Coffee on Main St., I’ve lived out my spiritual journey over the last 5 years. Though the faces on the other side of the table have changed (as has my preferred flavor of mocha), the purpose has not. Most recently, Jenny Carmichael (look her up she’s awesome) has been my spiritual sparring partner, and subject of debate has been A.W Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy.
On this particular day, a leisurely coffeeshop chat didn’t really fit with my busy schedule, but I felt bad about canceling, so I kept it on. For quite some time, we discoursed about the nature of God using a lot of annoyingly big words that would probably make us seem pretentious and self-absorbed.
In the middle of my monologue about God’s divinity, we were abruptly interrupted by an unwelcome visitor; a homeless man stopped in front of our table and commented on the coolness of the weather. We had a friendly exchange, but he loitered long past the window for trading pleasantries, so I closed my book and just…. Talked to him (though trying to disguise my discomfort). Piece by piece, he constructed the fragments of his story.
“They call me Thirsty Joe”
No, his thirst isn’t for water. It’s for vodka.
He wants vodka, but he doesn’t get paid until May 3rd.
Yes, he knows it’s not good for him.
Can you believe that he didn’t drink for 24 years??
But after his wife died eight years ago, he fell off the wagon.
24 years they were married, and he never touched alcohol. She took him home as a one-night stand and couldn’t get rid of him.
Yes, he knows the Lord, and he’s got a cross necklace under his jacket to prove it.
He got saved, baptized, and married all in the same week.
But that was a long time ago.
He’s gotta be getting on now… The weather is getting a little cold
Every so often, God punches you right in the stomach. In special moments, He touches your heart, takes your breath away, and leaves you speechless. Yes, even me, the guy that always has something to say, was speechless. In complete silence, I watched Joe head west on Main St. until he was completely out of sight, and then I turned to face my own emotions. As riveting as the content was, the book stayed closed. As stimulating the conversation, mouths stayed shut, save only the words needed to pray for Joe.
When my precious vocabulary struggled to elaborate on the attributes of God, He instead revealed himself to me through the story of a broken man. As my heart was overcome with empathy, I experienced but a fraction of the love and compassion of my Heavenly Father. Yes, God loves me, the lifelong Christian who seemingly has it all together, that has consistently pursued a relationship with Him. But when Jesus came, He didn’t really hang with Ty. If He was in Norman today, He would probably be with Joe. He beckons to the weary and the broken, offering rest. God loves Joe. He is CRAZY about Joe. Joe’s brokenness breaks the heart of God, who longs to be Joe’s Healer. On this day, as I was trying to unravel the complex mystery of God’s divine nature with the tools of my head and of my heart, God allowed me to feel how simple He really is:
God is Love
I looked for God in the writings of a brilliant theologian. I found Him in the story of a homeless alcoholic.
Where will you find God today?