As we seek to learn how to be more thankful and grateful, meet Joseph. (not his real name)  He is homeless, 31 years old, never been married, has no children, and no high school diploma. He comes from a strict family that taught him success in life is money not relationships, and if you do not make enough we will not help you.

Joseph is a dreamer, very talented and gifted, and very convincing. He has had many opportunities, even owning his own business. His mother died when he was 18 and the rest of his family realized early on that there was something missing in his work ethic.

Joseph also does not pick his friends well, and has been in prison. Not a great picture is it? Is there any hope for him? What does he have to show us?

I met Joseph while serving with a group that takes in and feeds homeless men each night in the winter months. I learned there are many programs and ways of helping Joseph become a winner in life; but he has to want it and agree to do the hard work it will take to make the necessary changes, and then be accountable for the results.

Not too much different from the way we live, is it? We have to keep doing the hard work, seek the tools and people that can help us, be accountable for the results, and then be willing to give back to others just like Joseph.

I left Joseph a note on a napkin, that could be a life changer for him and maybe you too. It said: “I believe in you, and God does too. Now you have to believe in yourself. God has a plan and purpose for you, it is now the time to find out what it is and do the hard work it will take to live it out.  Your friend, Sue”

I am living my dream, how about you?  Happy Thankful Thursday.


  “Simply” Sue



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4 replies on “Thankful for Meeting Joseph!”

  • February 21, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I love your note to Joseph. Only in eternity will you know whether Joseph took your encouragement to heart. Not that it matters that you know, but that Joseph was hopefully inspired and believed!

    • February 21, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Thanks Karen. I was led to share it with Joseph, and with the world! It is the most powerful lesson I have ever learned! We need to talk soon! Have a great week-end!

  • February 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    We had a Joseph “dropped on our doorstep” last fall. He has a similar story. My husband has particularly felt called to try and help this young man. However, after 6 months we are not sure he wants to do the hard work to get the help he needs. We are praying for wisdom, strength and courage about what to do next. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • February 21, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      Yes Cathy it is hard to know what to do. But there are programs out there and experts that want to help, but again one has to want it for themselves. Fine line between wanting to “fix” someone, and inspire them to “do” it themselves! Pray for all who are in this situation.