My local church community meets in a middle school auditorium. That means each Sunday we spend at least 4 hours setting up, tearing down, loading, and unloading. We do church out of box, and we like it that way.
Our twenty-four foot trailer pulls into the parking lot at 7:20am and pulls out again at 1:00pm. There are several committed men and women who selflessly serve our body by getting up early to set up and staying late to tear down. They love to serve and our community is blessed by every single one of them. But Josh is different.
Josh always has a smile on his face. You can’t walk past him without him making direct eye contact and him giving you the most welcoming smile. That’s just the kind of guy he is. He comes with his family every week and doesn’t care much for church politics, what people wear, or what they say. He isn’t concerned with trendy, attractive, church methods or gimmicks. All he cares about is people. Josh is probably the most genuine person I know. There isn’t a week that goes by that he doesn’t go out of his way to help someone. I’m convinced that Josh’s heart is so full he can’t help but share pieces of it to everyone he meets, which probably makes him the most courageous person I know too.
I’m not sure what Josh’s story is, what he dreams about, what his past is about, or what his future holds. But what I do know is that I want to be like him some day.
I saw him this past Sunday unloading the music stands before the gathering. He was smiling, serving, and giving away a piece of his heart to the guy next to him. That’s the way it should be. That’s what the body of Christ is all about.
I stood there and watched him, and I wanted what he had. I know it’s contagious because I’ve seen it spread before. That’s how genuine love works – like a virus, but a good one.
Josh finished pulling the stands out of the case when his mom walked up and grabbed his hand. She walked him back up the auditorium aisle in my direction.
“Have fun in class today, Josh.” I said as he and his mom passed by.
“Thanks Mr. Tate! You too!” he said with that big contagious smile.
I may be thirty years old and Josh may only be eleven, but I want to be like him when I grow up.