Johnny Joe

by | May 9, 2015 | Acceptance, Welcome

There was a young man about sixteen years old, named Johnny Joe, who was mentally handicapped. He ran with a gang of boys who were always in trouble. Johnny Joe was not bad, but he wanted to be accepted, and when he was with these boys, he felt accepted and wanted.

The gang called him the go-guy, because whenever they wanted anything, it was Johnny Joe they would send for it. They ran him ragged, but he didn’t care. Every time they sent him for something, or told him to do a thing, he would feel so proud. He thought the gang needed him, and for this he was glad. He was part of the pack, and that is what mattered to him.

Johnny Joe was on his way home one night when he saw many people going into a church building. He knew it was not Sunday so he stood in the shadows and watched, wanting to go inside, wondering what was happening. Being curious, he finally walked up to the open church doors and went in. The people were singing such beautiful songs. Johnny Joe sat on the back pew and listened to the wonderful music, just closing his eyes to everything around him.

After the singing, a tall, slim man stood up front and talked about God’s precious love. He told how Jesus loved all people. Johnny listened as the message went on, and suddenly felt the love of this man named Jesus. How wonderful it was to know that someone loved him, no matter what he was or what he had done! Tears filled his eyes as he walked up to the front of the church with all the others and accepted this man called Jesus Christ into his life. .

The next night, when Johnny Joe went into church again, he heard someone saying the revival was going well. This time he sat and carefully listened to all that the thin man had to say. He felt a peace inside and knew that this was special. The revival lasted all week and it was the most wonderful week of Johnny Joe’s life.

After that week, he went to find the gang so he could tell them about Jesus. He tried to talk to the boys, but they laughed at him and told him that he had gotten religion but he had better not come to them and preach. So Johnny Joe stood back, STARING at each one of his friends before he left the shed. His heart was broken, but he didn’t know why. He could hardly believe that they were not willing to give Jesus a try.

When Sunday morning came, Johnny Joe happily went back to that church. He was so excited! He wanted to learn all he could about Jesus. But, this time the church seemed strangely different somehow. The people gathered together in small groups. No one noticed him or even said hello. He looked all around for the slim man, but he was not there. Some other man stood at the front with a different message about how people need to do things for the church so it could grow. Johnny Joe never felt peace this time. Something was wrong. When church was over, many passed him without saying hello or even noticing him. He walked away, drained and so sad. Why did no one even say hello?

Feeling left out again, Johnny went to see the gang. They immediately welcomed him back and began telling him all about their great plan. They were going to rob a gas station that very night. Johnny Joe just sat there and listened to their plan, not sure what to say or do. Every member of the gang insisted that Johnny Joe had to go, too, so without a sound, he got into the car. They drove to the gas station where the plan was quickly started. Someone put a gun in Johnny Joe’s hand and told him to go inside. He did what he was told, because that is what he always did. The man behind the counter saw the gun, and reaching for his own gun beneath the counter, shot Johnny Joe without blinking an eye. Johnny, purely in reflex, lifted his gun and shot back, then fell dead.

As the store clerk dropped to the floor, the rest of the gang panicked, running from the scene, leaving poor Johnny Joe behind to bear all the blame.

As the curtain closes on this tale of woe, sorrow, and deception, one has to wonder:

Did Johnny Joe really accept the Lord? And if he did, why did he shoot a man?

Where were those church members when he needed just a hello?

When the revival is over, please don’t forget about those who want to know more about that man called Jesus?

Sharon Niese


Johnny Joe