John Doe #24

February 7, 2014


With Michael Mason…February 23

michael mason


My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.

John 10:27, NRSV


Jesus is a shepherd not a drover: He is leading us to a fold, not driving us to a slaughter.

~Yaahov [Adapted]


Have you ever been in a situation where someone forgot your name, or just forgot you period? When I read this question, a situation came to mind immediately but as I read the following story, my pathetic story just vanished into oblivion.

John Doe #24 was picked up on the streets of Jacksonville, Illinois. No one knows for sure how old John was but they suspected him to be an early teenager. He was totally deaf, blind and mentally retarded. Apparently family [if you could call them such] had dropped him like some folks do dogs and cats. The authorities found him wandering the streets. He was dirty, hungry and disoriented. He could not communicate. They knew nothing about him and he was unable to share information about himself. He was carried to an institution for the mentally insane where he spent the rest of his life. John was a severe diabetic and some of his care givers believed  that it was the diabetes that caused his blindness. Over the years they became convinced that John could see when he was a child. He would mimic dances and some supposed that he may have been raised in the atmosphere of Jazz bar. Someone gave him a straw hat that he kept with him all the time. At Christmas John danced to the vibrations of the music. His last Christmas, care givers gave him a harmonica. John died a few months later and at his grave side there was a small circle of caregivers. The director asked if anyone wanted to speak a few words over John’s body but they all declined. Their response was: “We didn’t really know him. He was never able to tell us anything about himself.”

I believe John Doe was as innocent as a baby and I am confident that Jesus knew him and could call him by name. Jesus said,I am the shepherd who cares for the sheep. I know my sheep just as the Father knows me. And my sheep know me just as I know the Father. I give my life for these sheep.The man who guards the gate opens the gate for the shepherd. And the sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd. He calls his own sheep, using their names, and he leads them out. He brings all of his sheep out. Then he goes ahead of them and leads them. The sheep follow him, because they know his voice. [Selected from John 10]

The story of John broke my heart. How sad to think that family would abandon a child in John’s condition. Sadder still to think that no one knew his name or anything about him. Do you know what I think? I think you and I are blessed to have one friend that knows us. One friend who thinks about our needs and happiness. Most of us are rich in relationships but we are not aware of our wealth.


  • I got a shock when I walked in to CMC yesterday morning: no Steve Kelso. Dr. Ward sent him home a day after surgery and the surgery lasted over 4 hours.
  • Dana was having a good day. She was working a zig-saw puzzle when I went in. The procedure on Wednesday went well but they were not able to change her medication. We are praying for another solution. She told me about her mission trip to Cuba. It was a fascinating story. Dana believed that every Christian should make at least one Mission Trip. I concur!
  • LORD willing, I will be in retreat today, preparing for WBS at Sardis Springs. The DHS boys play in the area at Hanceville tonight. We have four regulars from DBC on the team, the three below and Jay.
The Big Three Andre, Allen and E

The Big Three
Andre, Allen and E

  • One of my favorite eating establishments is Jim & Nicks BBQ. A new one has opened last month in Cullman. It is located across from the Wal-Mart shopping center on Hwy 69. I love their orange muffins and they have great tea. A little pricy, a loaded potato is $10 but they are very filling and taste great.

Jim and Nicks


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