The-One-Who-Jumps-And-Claps (The Musings of a CB-er)

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The first time I saw Josh, all I could think at first is TALL. Me, being a mere 5’2″, this is understandable- but hardly relevant. The second thought was more important, and it did not come until long after. LONG after.

If you haven’t known Josh for very long, it’s easy to get caught up in the crazy ideas, random facial expressions, and the lack of respect for personal space. He throws himself off of things, climbs buildings just because he can, and the rabbit-trails he causes people to chase in conversations merely scrape the microscopic surface of the long bucket-list of things that describe him.

But what do you get, once you crack that crazy, jumping-and-clapping shell? Although I haven’t known Josh for very long, I dare to venture into a small break from the usual blog post to shed some light on one of CB’s leaders.

There have been a few incidents where I have chanced to see Josh at his finest; where all fun and games aside, his heart and passion for life and the Lord have come out beyond all else.

The first was an incident I have spoken about before in part- that one Saturday CB night, when he came before me and asked me if I could speak to Brandi, a girl who had attended the Biblestudy with her boyfriend. Josh had witnessed her boyfriend acting abusively towards Brandi, and it had moved him to talk to me; perhaps I could speak words of value and change into her heart, telling her that she had more significance than what her boyfriend was giving her, that she could break free from that, and that God loved her.

Although I was too preoccupied with my own nervousness to notice beyond a glance at Josh’s visible passionate and righteous anger, I can think back on it now and be moved.

It says in Proverbs 31:8 to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are in need.” Believe it or not, it’s hard for me to speak up. It’s not my first instinct to go and confront someone if I see something wrong, and it’s easier for me to ignore injustice than to face it head on. Josh not only saw something that need changing, he did everything within his power to change it. It’s so easy for us to see things that we don’t like, it’s harder to actually DO something to CHANGE them.

Two weeks ago, when we dove into Daniel 1, I saw the second opportunity to see Josh at his finest. Re-reading the attributes of Daniel and his colleagues, I chuckle slightly to myself. A motley band of college-aged brats from all places from the nation grouped together in a foreign land, doing things so different they stand out? Refusing to conform to the normalties of their drinking/partying/drugging/permiscuous generation, but setting themselves apart to seek the work of the Lord- EVEN their WEEKENDS??!! Surely this doesn’t sound like our very own CB man-boys, does it?

And yet we see Josh, Andrew, Pat, John… all of them, week after week, when they COULD be doing something else- homework, hanging out with someONE else, doing someTHING else, someWHERE else- and yet they are here in the dirt and the grime, and they LOVE it!? Should we not follow the Daniels of our day and do the same?

You don’t know how many times my heart breaks for my generation and the generations behind us- their depravity, hopelessness and lack of meaning… wandering around in search of somewhere to call home and something to belong to, but in all, never finding it because there is no one to lead them to it.

My heart burns because of them! Although I am not even about to say that Josh, Andrew or any of them, or any of us, or any one at all is in any way perfect or close to it- I will say that leaders like this are rare and men who are leaders like this rarer still. And just like in the rest of the book, Daniel and his friends suffer persecution because of their actions, our Josh and the rest will suffer as well. Satan HATES what they are doing! I urge you to keep our Daniels in prayer!

Thirdly, most recently, we (meaning a group of CB-ers and their friends) were walking home from Misseo Dei’s Halloween Party, almost to the Blue Line stop where we Moody-ers were going to take the train home to school, a mutual friend of ours named Brian, a forty-something year-old man who was ex-military and walked like it insisted we stop so we could wait for Andrew, who had ran back in search of a lost jacket.

Being on the slightly crazy side, Josh has been the recipient of many of Brian’s scoldings. Climbing on state-owned buildings, swinging on the overhead railings of CTA platforms and racing up the down-escalator are just a few of the reasons Josh and Webb much-merit the echoing scolds of our beloved CB-Dad, Brian. But however ridiculous the reasoning Brian has for why they should behave, and however innocent the goings-on that resulted in the rant, I’ve never seen them roll their eyes, or laugh Brian off and walk away, or be disrespectful in any way.

Here is no different. While I told Brian “It’s okay, he’s a big boy- Every day you complain that Andrew takes too long, and we should leave him behind… NOW you want to wait for him?”, Josh turned around and caused me to bite my tongue. I don’t remember his exact words, but I do remember that it was filled with much more loving-respect for the older man than my own words.

It’s so easy to get in the mentality here in college that everyone is your peer. I am filled with sorrow that I have fallen into the immaturity of no longer treating my elders with respect every single time, and am no different than my generation in that way. It says in James “If anyone considers himself faithful and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his faith is worthless.” WOW. Lord!

This little post was not to put Josh on a pedastle in any way, or praise him for things he has not done. (No, he isn’t paying me to write these words, either.) I just felt like so many times we peer into the worlds of others through tainted windows and then conclude we know them.

It’s so easy to see the one standing before us (or jumping and clapping before us) and assume the best or worst. I try so hard to see people for who they really are, find something and then assume the rest… or even worse- see something worth while in someone, and fail to tell them.

So easily, as we are doing ministry with people, we only see them from one side. Human beings are multi-faceted, and although we admit there are many many many MANY faults, there are things in the people around us that move us so greatly that it causes us to change the way we do things, the way we think things, the way we feel things. As I move through the CB-ers in the next few months, I encourage you:

~To keep these people in your prayers; for Satan hates what they are doing and who they are, and are deep in the field of battle against the enemy.

~To learn more about the people around you, remembering that there are more to us than meets the eye- and you might be changed by them! As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. As we rub shoulders in ministry here at CB, let us also sharpen eachother!

~And thirdly to remember that we ARE NOT INSIGNIFICANT! However many our faults, however inadequate we feel at times, the Lord can use us for things great or small- from reminding a little latina to respect her elders, to becoming a Daniel in this modern-Babylonian world!

In all things, Lord, I praise you for giving me such great leaders and lessons as these, and with them, I pray that we LEARN from them and CHANGE from them! AMEN! :)

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