Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A tribute to a young warrior... Joshua Steven Eddy

I tweeted recently about my boss' loss of his grandson Joshua Eddy; although I never met this young man, I am very impressed by seeing the reaction of many to his death. Even at the young age of 19, his zeal and dedication to the purposes of God have touched many people... even more so, it seems, in light of his untimely death. 
Here's a sampling of online reactions to this tragedy that my boss compiled in honor of his grandson. (look out for the link to his blog, and to the FB page which his friends opened in his memory)... he really was a remarkable young man....

Joshua Steven Eddy
Quotes from blogs, Emails and Facebook

“Joshua Eddy, you could never have realized how much you have impacted so many people’s lives, especially in these last few hours–you have literally changed my life in 24 hours, and even though I am hurting tremendously and lack the words to give you a proper remembrance, God is working in my heart in a way that hasn’t happened in years. Thank you, Josh. Thank you for redirecting my eyes and heart back to Christ. Your ministry, life, and now your death, have not been in vain or for naught. I can’t thank you enough.”
“Josh. Where do I begin? Ever since I met you, you have inspired me to do great things for God. Thanks for being such a great friend to me, Bro. Through your blog, through your actions, through your smile, and through your photography, you’ve radiated Jesus. Life’s been a struggle, but now you’ve made it into your Savior’s arms. You fought the fight, you’ve won the battle. How glorious it must be to look upon our sweet Savior’s face!!”
“Josh... I love and miss you Bro. I cannot wait until Heaven reunites us; you have been such a role model for me alive, and your death has only amplified it. Your life may have been short, and our time together even shorter–but the impact you have made will forever be in our hearts. To die for loved ones is an honor. To die and become an example for loved ones is a greater honor. Until Heaven’s gates fling open wide,  –Ted”

“Joshua Eddy, you are more ALIVE than you’ve ever been before. Oh how I wish we could see it! I can see your big grin as you stand side by side with the Savior, arms around one another...WOW! What a picture! See you again my friend.”
“Josh’s life impacted me in so many ways, and now he’s continuing to impact people through his passing. My whole college has been reading his blog and being touched by Josh’s life, even though they never met him. One of my college friends shared this with me, and I found it very comforting: ‘Josh’s life has had my family praising God and wanting to be more like Christ, even though we never knew him. Like one of my siblings said, “When I hear about him, I feel like taking my shoes off on holy ground; he obviously lived for Christ.”’ Thank you for living out your life as a testimony that won’t soon be forgotten. You were truly one of the most remarkable and godly young men I have ever known. Thank you for the impact you have had on my life in your encouragement and willingness to always be there. Thank you for seeking Christ in everything. You changed my life and the lives of many others in your lifetime. And even though you’re with Jesus now, you’re still changing lives. See you in Heaven–I can’t wait! Your friend, forever,” ~Clareesa

“Josh, I miss you so much. I wasn’t super close to you; wasn’t one of your best friends by any stretch, but you have influenced me in ways I can’t explain. Your joyful, happy, enthusiastic attitude has always amazed me... 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 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.’ (Isaiah 41:13)
Over and out,” ~Emily

“My soon-to-be brother-in-law left us suddenly on May 5th, 2012 by slipping off a rock into Rainie falls. He was 19 and so full of life, that it has been so hard to let him go. He wanted to live for Christ and die for Christ, and that’s exactly what he did. Because of how he lived, is full of testimonies of his life. His blog has increased by 7 thousand views in 2 days. ( People are being so blessed by his legacy; people he has never met. He was an amazing man, and he certainly is a witness for Christ. I cannot tell you how much I miss him. He was like a brother to me from the start, and I was so glad that he was going to become my official brother! Josh, I hope you’re enjoying Heaven, with a incredibly high-def camera slung over your shoulder! I am so glad you are now in your homeland that you always longed for. You’d better be ready for me to tackle you when I get there!”
“I was especially touched by these words of Josh in his blog concerning facing death: ‘Do these questions scare me? No. I would give anything to die like that. To die so that someone else might live—the thought shakes me and sends tears streaming down my face. But more than that, so much more than that, I want to die a martyr. To die for the overwhelming love of Christ, and the honor of bearing His Name and image; to be counted among ‘those of whom the world was not worthy,’ I can’t even imagine. That would be dying well. What would you consider the greatest thing you could die for? You show me a man who can lay down his pride for his faith and family, and I’ll show you a man who will not hesitate to lay down his life, also.’–Josh”

“You make me want to leave it all behind to be with you. Life seems a great labor before me; I’ve never looked forward to dying like I do now. I’m determined to live like a crazy thrill seeker, fighting for holiness and righteousness; but I yearn to my core for that day when I can be done with this shadow world. I don’t wish you were with us, I just wish we were with you. Oh Lord, number my days; I groan for heaven’s horizon. Those fair shores are calling me. How do I go on now having glimpsed the other side? I feel like a wanderer, a sojourner in a strange world that is not my home.
“‘Grow, grow, grow, Destiny. Never adopt the disease of complacency. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and lean not on your own understanding. Pray, seek, and search. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.’ –Joshua Steven Eddy (a brief section of what he wrote me in an email) These words mean so much. Thank you Josh for challenging me. For encouraging me in the Lord. Thank you for being a godly example and for always directing me to Christ. You are an inspiration, Josh, and you always will be. Your life reflects the grace, love, power and glory of our Father in Heaven. I’m so very blessed to have seen the work God did in you and is continuing to do through you. Praise God!”

Joshua’s Dad – “It is very difficult for me to write about my son. His passion for Jesus is the thing that all of you have most noted of him. He loved the Lord with his whole being. He loved his family and his friends almost as much. He felt your burdens and your pains. He found great joy in directing you to the One who can truly lift your burden and comfort you. Now at a time when I could use his encouragement myself I find silence. Oh how I wish he could comfort me and encourage me to cast all my fears and anxieties on Jesus. Instead all I can do is remember. His face. His smile. The way he would bump his head into my shoulder. Well I do remember! I remember a son who did not live to please man; he lived to please Him who created him! To that end he accomplished much. Much more than he could have ever imagined. Since Saturday afternoon more than 7,000 people have been to his blog; many who never knew him commented on what an impact his writing had on them. I have read so many amazing posts about my son and it makes me so proud to know that he finished well (albeit a little too soon in my mind). I have much to say about my beautiful son, I just can’t write it out right now. 
My son Joshua wrote– “To surrender a precious dream is a fearful thing, but to pursue anything but the full measure of the glory of God’s love is a wasted life.”
Joshua is one of my most precious dreams! I love you boy! I long to see you again!  –Dad
“This is the second morning I have woken up with tears in my eyes...when I thought no more tears were possible. I was thinking back to one time, and I said something rather nonchalantly, and you were the only one that noticed I was hurting, Josh, and you took my hands in yours and looked me in the eye and asked me what was wrong and told me to let you know if there was anything you could do. Then you sent me a mile long email that touched me as no email ever has. I’m gonna miss you so much, Josh. I don’t wish you back, because you’re in a far better place; I just wish I could be up there with you.”
“Josh, there’s not much I can say that others have not already said. You were a man of God and a great example to everyone else, including me. One thing I know though, is that as you approach the Lord, you will hear a resounding, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
You didn’t stop a bullet, you didn’t beat up a burglar, you didn’t give away the last parachute, you did something more. You lived like a man; and though you may not have saved lives, you have changed lives. You sacrificed in a way that maybe you don’t understand. That maybe a lot of people don’t understand. You did something far more than heroic, you lived for Christ, and people will never be the same after what you did in their lives. Thank you, from a bystander, from a person who has felt the distant ripple of blessing you have sent. I may never have known you in person, but I know you as a fellow brother in Christ, and as one in fellowship of Spirit. I look forward to the day where I can shake your hand and say, “thank you. 
God Bless you.”  -Jacob Clifton

“Us broken-hearted kids are becoming wise old sages in the course of a few days. Life’s mysteries are being laid bare; we are scouring Josh’s blog for every last bit of wisdom we can embrace. We are not growing jaded, we’re getting softer, wiser. Our world feels upside down, when in reality it’s at last becoming upside up. We feel this is the breakthrough we’ve been longing for; it’s the trigger, the fuse, the tipping point, the edge, the push to finally live the thrilling freefall that Josh lived. God shaped our lives through Josh’s life in little, inestimable ways, but God has forever rocked our worlds through his death. All is becoming clear. 
“We are memorizing his favorite Scriptures. We are dying to live, living to die like he did. We are bonding together, binding ourselves to one another, calling for authenticity. Our eyes, brimming with tears, are wide open. We have been awakened. We will raise an ebenezer on that fateful rock from which he fell.”
“‘Joshua’ literally means ‘God rescues.’ Josh’s passion was to be a rescuer of bodies as a paramedic, and a rescuer of souls as an ambassador for Christ. Who knows who is being rescued by the incredible testimony of his life and death?”
“One more hug, one more talk, one more laugh... I wish it was so. I’m gonna miss you so much Josh. You were like an older brother to me. I admired, respected and looked up to you in so many ways. You had such a passion and heart for the Lord. Thank you for changing my life. :)”
“It is not death to hear

 The key unlock the door

 That sets us free from mortal years

 To praise You ever more.”

No comments: