I wanted to share my memories of Joe Fitzgerald who today went to be with the Lord.
It’s nearly 19 years since I started to work in Switzers on Grafton St. (now Brown Thomas) and met Joe who was working there too. I worked in the hair salon and one of Joe’s many jobs was to hang the flags outside. So he would come through the salon, climb out the window on to the ledge and hang them out. Most mornings the guys I worked with gave him a hard time. “Here come’s Hallelujah!!!” “Look it’s Hallelujah Joe!!” Joe would smile and shout back, ‘Praise the Lord!’ Every so often he’d say, “One day you’ll say it and you’ll mean it!” 🙂
I was very wary of him, as my sister had just got interested this ‘religion stuff’ but I decided to check him out.
So I lied to him.
I asked him to tell me about his faith and pretended to be interested. Every so often we’d sit together in the canteen and he’d take his Bible out of his pocket and show me some Scriptures and explain things about God, Jesus and salvation. I was no more interested than the man on the moon. But he WAS fascinating to listen to.
Eventually, I didn’t know what it was at the time (conviction I suppose), but I felt I had to be honest with him and tell him that I wasn’t actually interested. I told him I only wanted to suss him out cos I was worried about my sister. I expected him to be angry! But he wasn’t. He was great! He asked me about my sister and her church and reassured me that her pastor was a good man of God. He told me that it was obvious to Him that God was after me and encouraged me to ‘give in to Him’!
And so I did after a while. Joe was a great help in those early days. He was very hard on me!!!! My lifestyle didn’t change as much as it should have in the first few months. I was saying the right things but he knew I wasn’t fully living out the faith I proclaimed. He saw through me 🙂 and like a good brother in Christ, encouraged me to live for Him.
I thank God for Joe’s influence on me and his willingness to put up with all my questions and arguments. I’m truly grateful for him spending his lunchtimes sorting me out… when he could have been relaxing. But it was no chore to him. He loved to talk about his Saviour.
Only later did I realise Joe loved to sing about him too!!!
Well the choir in Heaven has just been blessed with a great voice.
Thank you Jesus for Joe Fitz!