Today we attended the funeral of a 29 year old young man. For over 20 years he had battled diabetes and its complications, including blindness.
But there was something special about this young man named Josh. He was a real life version of Pollyanna. Always positive and affirming to others, he was known throughout the little town of Mitchellville. In fact, there were at least 200 people who attended the celebration service.
How could one young man impact so many lives? I kept asking myself that question as I listened to person after person share their stories of Josh. How could a young man, cursed with such a debilitating disease, and the disability of blindness, be so encouraging, so positive and full of love for others; and show such love for life?
There were two answers I settled on.
One, he had given his life to Jesus. That in itself is a powerful, life-changing thing.
But just becoming a Christian doesn’t necessarily change a person’s disposition, demeanor, or determination. Determination to live life to the fullest, in spite of the mounting disabilities.
That was the biggest reason Josh could live like he did. He refused to see himself as someone with a handicap. The fact he couldn’t see didn’t keep him from encouraging everyone he came in contact with.
As we drove away from the little town, I started thinking about the ways I’ve let my disabilities control my life; limiting my dreams, squelching my faith. No, I’m not blind, physically anyway, but I do limit my vision at times by concentrating too much on my lack of education, finances, personality, or anything else that tries to keep me from living life to the fullest.
I finally settled in on this one thought: every one of us is endowed by God with some sort of disability. No, I don’t mean physical sickness, or anything like that. But none of us were created perfectly; we all have flaws, disabilities, which can hold us back, OR, reveal the goodness and power of love.
And the God of love.
Disabilities? No. Just special frames to showcase God’s grace.
Thanks, Josh, for the life you lived. My life won’t be the same.