I am skeptical. It is my nature.
I show up to the meeting late thinking I'm in trouble. what if he's already left?
I'm not late. He's not there yet. So I sit and get to work.
Then he walks in.
Mom said, What was he like?
Not that Jesus was white or that he had long hair or when he was twenty-one we have no documentation of what he was doing. It's just that when I think of Jesus I try not to think image because I never saw him but in my mind Jesus had a soft, sweet, loving look. Like your brother wants to give you a hug.
Nobody just got back from being homeless for a month. He went to Austin, TX and lived on the streets. For thirty days he was without the companionship he had known for twenty-one years.
When I first met his Mom. It was in these meetings. Two or three in, before I knew it was her. When I was saying, What is going on? Who is this guy? We have to find him. Is anyone following him?
I verbalized all my fears, and at the end of the meeting his Mom was there, and my heart cried 'cause why would I sit in a meeting and do that.
She told me it was for a season and no, she didn't know the length of the season, but yes, her twenty-one year old boy had decided to quit college and go be homeless in Austin, TX. He was going to witness to people about God.
There had been signs. He had new friends at junior college and whenever she would ask him, Who were you talking about? I've never heard that name.
He would respond, Oh yeah. He's my new friend. I met him in the Walmart parking lot.
Many of John Mark's new friends were homeless people who needed something.
A meal, shoes.
A friend, a roof over their head.
This went on for at least two years before he told his Mom, I am going to be homeless in Austin, TX.
John Mark? She said.
Mom, I have to. God is calling me.
To be homeless?
Mom. Don't cry. It's going to be okay.
But John Mark?
Everyone should do this.
Go be homeless?
Do what God tells them to do.
He sold me. He hit it hard. Where he got me?
What he missed most was family and community. The most shocking thing to him was how no other human said, Hi. Good morning. Nobody waved. He was nobody.
He left a man who called him an angel, and he saw angels too.
He is going to write a book about his experience. I hope.
Today I am grateful for the sons of our mothers.