|Joshua, age nine~first baseman|
Within weeks after Joshua’s memorial, a mother of one of Joshua’s friend’s sent me a paper. It was a writing that Joshua and his third-grade class had contributed to.
This mother knew I would need this paper titled “I Would Like to Have the Gift of . . .”
She thought maybe I already had it, but sent it just in case. Joshua had never shared it with me, so it was indeed a surprise and a precious gift of affirmation that what I had taught my son had soaked into his young life.
Here are a few examples of what Joshua’s classmates wrote (names withheld for privacy):
“I would like to have the gift of a whole bunch of people knowing I care about them. If I had this gift, I’d feel really happy. I would feel wonderful.” —girl student
“I would like to have the gift of courage. If I had this gift I’d jump. I would feel terrific.”—boy student
“I would like to have the gift of love, happiness, and the gift of the Holy Bible, Jesus, God. If I had this gift, I would spread it. I would feel wonderful.” —Joshua Williams
When I read Joshua’s words, I doubled over and wept. Oh, Lord God, I hate this! What happened to that boy?
I understand now, that life caved in on my son.
People have said to me about Joshua, “He bore more pain and sorrow than many people do in their lifetime.” Yes, that’s true. At the age of twenty-five, Joshua could no longer endure, and the lie grew larger than life could hold him.
Father God, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of this mother. I needed to see my innocent son’s words, showing me Joshua had been listening to our Bible stories oh so long ago. In Jesus’s name, I thank You for another blessed gift. Amen.