Monday, May 7, 2012

Not of this World

Josh, I miss you so much.  I wasn't super close to you; wasn't one of your best friends by any stretch, but you have influenced me in ways I can't explain.

Your joyful, happy, enthusiastic attitude has always amazed me.  Always running barefoot.  Always wearing shorts.  Always carrying your camera.  I wished I was as cheerful as you.  You told me once that you take ice cold showers, and I was impressed and kind of amazed.  This morning I almost took one, but I chickened out and turned on the hot water.

You helped us in so many ways at speech club!  You gave of your time so that we would do better, and you somehow always knew what to say.

Right now I can remember how you looked while you were coaching us on our speeches.  You always made sure you told us something we did well first, and you would get so excited over those things.  Then you would stare off and squint your eyes a little bit and think for a couple of seconds.  I could see the wheels turning in your head as you found the words to say.  And only when you had figured it out perfectly would you criticize anything in our speeches.  I love that.  I love that you understood how powerful words are, and how easy it is to say the wrong thing, so you thought about it.

Then you went off to ALERT, and we didn't see you for quite awhile.  You got back and you were so changed.  You were still Josh, but the fire that had always burned in you had been fanned and had grown into a blazing inferno; passion for your King.

I remember after speech club one Tuesday your ride hadn't gotten there yet so you, my mom and I had an awesome conversation about what you had learned while you were gone; how much your faith had grown; how you had learned to rely on God and only God.  You mentioned different scenarios that you had had to go through where you were literally at the end of your strength physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and God pulled you through.

I follow lots of blogs, but never, ever have I been so influenced  by something I have read (other than the Bible, naturally) as I was by your post about dying well.  I remember reading it at least five times and then crying and praying hard over it.  I felt so convicted and challenged.

You're gone now, and that reality still isn't sinking in.  But your influence on people's lives has not stopped.  Your life, and death, have touched innumerable lives, and I know that this impact will never end.

I can see you dancing, Josh.  Oh, God, I can see it now.  You are whole!  You are no longer touched by sin.  You are complete, living, dancing, praising, singing, jumping and leaping and never, ever stopping, in the presence of your Savior.

Josh, thank you for changing the world.  Thank you for never stopping.

"For I, the LORD your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, 
"Fear not, I am the One Who helps you.""
(Isaiah 41:13)

Over and out,



  1. What a sweet letter. I am sure that Josh is enjoying heaven right now with his savior.


  2. I am so inspired by what you've written. It's amazing how can you can take a situation full of sadness and grief yet glorify God through writting about it. Josh sounds like a truly awesome guy - I don't think there's any coincidence that his name means 'God rescues', because it sounds like God truly rescued this guy - he is now with his saviour.

    I admire your faith so much. Thank you for writting this. :)

    1. Thank you so much for the comment, Abbie. Yes, he really was incredible, and I know that he's far more alive now than he ever could dream of being while trapped here on earth.
      Thank you for sharing his name's meaning... I had heard that ages ago, but had forgotten it. Wow, how very fitting.