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.""
Over and out,