Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The Unthinkable Dream

Jonathan Goode has a dream. His dream is for everyone to love God and love people just the way Jesus did. His present and sole mission is to tell the country about his dream. So on a cold, rainy January morning, Jonathan and his good friend, Wes Peters, packed most of their worldly belongings in Goode's 2004 gold Nissan Sentra and took to the highways with their GPS in hand to take their message of love for all to the rest of the country as they tour the biggest and the not so biggest cities in the nation.

You may know Jonathan from the days when he worked at the local Chick‑fi‑la. You may also remember him from the original Blackbird's Coffee shop in downtown Dublin. Goode was Blackbird's first manger and helped to influence his good friend Jack Walker to open the popular gathering place. In fact, Jonathan's father Mike just purchased Blackbird's from Walker. Jonathan wants you to remind his mom, Sherry Starley, that God will be with him during his travels.

Jack Walker believes in what Jonathan is doing. "When most people have a great idea, they push it for a short time until they get tired and move on," Jack remarked. Commenting on Jonathan's persistence and his future Walker said, "He's the guy who sticks to it and makes it happen. It's just a matter of time before he's speaking at Catalyst Conference (one of the country's largest gathering of young leaders)‑ you watch."

Christ came early into Jonathan's life. He struggled with the connection between being a Christian and Christ himself. The more he read and the more he prayed, Jonathan realized that if you really love God, you must love everyone, not just your family and friends, but all people, even the ones whom nobody loves.

While on their country‑wide tour, Jonathan and Wes will be showing their film, My Concrete Mattress. "The plight of the homeless in America was an easy choice," said Goode, who believes that the churches of America are helping, but would like to see the three‑quarters of the people in this country who profess themselves to be Christians do more, a lot more. "What we need is a massive God‑like movement," Goode contends.

Wes Peters, a Florida native, who met Jonathan when he enrolled in Dublin High School, discovered a new found faith in Christ as a student at the University of Georgia. Peters believes the movement is contagious and is excited to see the love blossom.

On the first leg of their national tour, Jonathan and Wes plan to travel to Birmingham, Shreveport, Dallas, Little Rock, and Oklahoma City and several smaller venues in between. After a short break to catch up on their sleep, the proponents of unconditional love for all people will start up I‑95 for showings in New Jersey, New York, and Boston or in any place any one will invite them to express their message of love. Goode and Peters hope to make permanent contacts along their path to lay the ground work for building a national organization.

In the film My Concrete Mattress, Jonathan, with the invaluable aid of Jesse Lavender and Mark Mitchell, examines the tumultuous lives of four homeless residents of Atlanta. It wasn't long before Jonathan discovered that he was forced to reevaluate his preconceived ideas of who these people are. "The first thing I had to learn was that they were people, individual people with individual stories and individual names," Goode declared. Jonathan soon realized that the homeless were not the kind of people he thought he could easily avoid while he was living in a big city.

What he did realize was they are people who had things that they were excited about and people who do have a future. They are people who come from homes where drugs and alcohol are as common as sodas and pizzas. They are army veterans, paralegals, high school graduates, and businessmen, some who made bad decisions and others who were the victims of bad luck. They are people who honestly try to break the bonds of homelessness and they are people who live in abandoned buildings in sight of the bright lights of towers where wealthy people work and where the very rich show off their athletic talents to their adoring fans. They are people who sleep in the doors of churches as they seek sanctuary from the villainous streets of Georgia's capital.

"Homelessness is not only in big cities," Goode points out. "It is in small communities where people don't see the problem, and don't think there is a problem, so they don't do anything about it," Jonathan declared. He also points out that there is homelessness right here in Dublin, Georgia. Jonathan makes it clear that it his goal and his organization’s goal to help not only the homeless but all kinds of people. "Rich people learn to love and be loved," Goode explains as to why he started with the poorest people.

Jonathan Goode, a 24‑year‑old recent graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in Political Science, asked for and received without hesitation the help of his old Dublin friends. Emily Taylor, Erin Wu, Jackson Head, Rolin Williamson and Ruthie Green, who joined Eric Davis and Billy Coward in making the low budget film, which was re‑edited to show the progress of the interviewees.

As for the future, Jonathan has no plans. "If I am a good steward of what I have now, I don't worry," remarked Jonathan. He takes one day at a time as he is determined to fully concentrate on his mission to spread the love of Christ. Jonathan is not ruling out going to a seminary in the future. "It has always been a part of me that wants to take this view of Christ and to make it ever present here in Laurens County," Goode wishes.

Goode hopes that everyone will be a part of the solution to the problems of the homeless and the grander goal of eradicating homelessness. He has done the math and figures that those with homes outnumber those without by a factor of at least 100 to 1. "Do something. Donate your time, food or money to a food bank," Jonathan proclaims!

If you would like to follow Jonathan and Wes on their tour or if you would like a copy of My Concrete Mattress, go to www.beunthinkable.org. The cost is up to you. Send what you can. The project could use your money. More importantly, they want your prayers. But, most of all, they want you to love everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Nhiều chị em thắc mắc rằng bà bầu uống nước lạnh ăn kem có tốt không và có ảnh hưởng đến thai nhi không, bà bầu bị u sơ tử cung có nguy hiểm không vì đang trong thời gian thai kỳ dễ ảnh hưởng tới sức khỏe của bé, bà bầu có nên uống vitamin c không vì vitamin c rất tốt cho cơ thể con người và không ngoài gì những mẹ bầu cả, mang thai ở độ tuổi nào là tốt nhất nhỉ, nhiều chị em lo lắng sợ không đủ tuổi mang thai, bà bầu đau dây chằng khi mang thai có nguy hiểm không và nó ra sao có ảnh hưởng đến thai nhi không.