A Whole Hearted Soul

By the editor

graduation

It was impossible not to love Jørgen Juul - or "Christmas", or "Stephen" or "Jericho Judah with the Banner of Love", or "Angelo" or any of the other names, and bible names, he liked to use.


I just heard that Angelo passed away yesterday, March 10th. 2022

This is something I wrote back in 2018 when I first heard Angelo was dying. He cheated death at that time and stayed with us for four more years - the story of his life.

I liked to call him "Angelo" because he was such an angel at heart. Generous to a fault. He would give the shirt off his back if you were in need. Even before he met his beloved Jesus he was something of a Robin Hood, which also got him in trouble at times.

First time I met Angelo was at one of the common meetings in Christiania in the early 70-ies in that squatted army camp in Copenhagen where young idealists were trying to establish an alternative and somewhat utopian society. We had heated discussions about the kind of alternative we wanted to built and X-mas (which was his nickname then) was a booming voice there.

You'd never know what to expect... once he came with a fully shaved head as a Tibetan monk, other times he was off on other trips. He found "the ultimate trip" there in Christiania around 1972 when he let Jesus into his life and from then on there was no looking back.

We used to call him "the commentator from the spirit world," because he was always seeing things none of us could see. You'd be talking to him and all of a sudden he'd burst out laughing. "What are you laughing at Angelo?" - "Oh" he'd answer, "it's just that Angel standing behind you - he looks SO FUNNY!"

His mind was always racing. In order to calm down he'd sit in a room with headphones listening for hours to Alexander Scorby reading from the King James Bible. The Word of God became his rock for the rest of his life. At that time drugs had also ruined his liver and the doctors predicted he would only have months left to live. Well, he defied the odds and Jesus healed him in soul and body again and again.

Angelo was amazingly gifted with music. He could play almost any instrument you'd put in his hand. We used to go busking at the pubs and restaurants down-town Copenhagen - it was a riot! He was a veritable Pied Piper with his plastic flute and flair for drama. He looked the part too, with guitar on his back, three flutes stuck in his leather belt that was lined with harmonicas in fur skin pockets. I'd tag along with my guitar trying to keep up.

In the mid 70-ies we volunteered together in Iceland. We had been given the use of a room in Reykjavik where we made a club for the neighborhood. For a while that was the cool place to hang out for kids in the area. We'd do skits and music and games and of course Angelo made sure that everyone who darkened the door would also pray and get a "free ticket to Heaven" as he called it - it was rocking!

Once we even rented a dance hall down-town Reykjavik, and put on a big show with band and all - Angelo was getting everybody up and gypsy dancing ending with everyone in a circle asking Jesus into their hearts.

Fast forward a few years and we happened to be together again in Dragør on the edge of Copenhagen. At that time the communities had become more focused on organisation and not a lot of time was spent on outreach. That had become a bit too restrictive for Angelo, so he decided to go solo for a while so he could continue to "burn free".

In the later years we always stayed in touch. Last time when visiting Copenhagen I stayed with him. Even though his various ailments were starting to catch up with him there was nothing he wouldn't do to be the perfect host. He even offered me his own bed - which I of course refused.

In September 2018 I received a call that the family was gathered around his hospital bed ready to say goodbye. Next day Angelo surprised me by calling and explaining that after 27 electro-chocks and a pacemaker he revived. He said Jesus had told him he was supposed to stay down here "to make more trouble for the Devil."

Since then he's been in and out of nursing homes, hospitals and hospices. He told me, "the Lord keep supplying me with receptive doctors and nurses who are lining up to receive the Lord :-)"

He once told me, "I'll come and visit you in the spirit once I'm gone"! I hope however he will first enjoy some good rest, free from pain and sickness and sorrow in that heavenly paradise.

I can imagine him chatting with the host of guardian angels that he kept so busy with. And I can see him being greeted by loved ones, friends and the many many people he shared the love of Jesus with.

So here's to a whole-souled, whole-hearted brother in arms. May you enjoy your hard earned and well deserved heavenly reward Angelo - God bless you!

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