He was a former roommate… about 26 yrs old.

On the day he moved in, he was beaming from ear to ear. He told me later that he had been on the streets but was trying to make a change in life. He was done with drugs, he said. Joe was scrupulously clean and I could tell that he was thrilled to be living in a decent place. I am not sure who it was that helped him move in. He sometimes spoke of his mother but according to Joe, she was living with a man that didn’t like him very much. Joe didn’t have a job although he pretended that he worked for a broker selling insurance. That was all a lie. As he later admitted, he was living off of gov’n checques. He spent most of his days laying World War Craft.

On the night I moved out he told me he was in trouble. “My mind is like a Picasso, you know those paintings where nothing makes sense.” Joe had a problem with paranoia. He once told me he thought someone was poisoning the water because it had a funny taste. I told Joe that these thing were not real and that he shouldn’t mention this to anyone. But he didn’t listen. I heard later that he had been kicked out of his place because he accused his roommate of breaking into his room and had screwed a padlock to his door.

He is living in dark, rank basement now and paying about the same rate as he did for the last place. He told me that people somehow know things about him and that there is a conspiracy to keep him from getting a place to live. He doesn’t understand that people judge by outward appearances; by the way a person carries themselves and how they speak. Joe never learned those social graces.

The hallway down to Joe’s basement suite.

The Kitchen / Laundry room

Joe’s Bedroom

Joe said he was something of an artist which, I admit, I doubted. But he gave me this picture the next week – all done with a ball point pen.

I wonder sometimes if there is hope for Joe? Was there hope for the people of Naphtali and Zebulun?

A land wrapped in darkness like a cold wet blanket. A place of gloom where every song is screamo, every procession a funeral and every glance an accusation.

Those walking in darkness have seen a great light. Isaiah 9:1,2

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