A Masterpiece

Josh was an incredible encourager. He wrote many uplifting things in his emails, but this portion is by far my favorite. It's dated January 12, 2012. 


You are a masterpiece that grows closer to completion every day.   You cannot expect to be finished overnight, and you cannot allow yourself to become discouraged when you don’t progress as fast as you think you should.  The Artist loves to watch every stroke of His brush add another dimension of depth and beauty, bringing you closer and closer to His perfect vision.  When the portrait of your life is complete, He will unlock the canvas from its easel, and hold it up:  “Ariel Jessica Strom, you are mine.”  And with that, He will add the finishing touch: His signature - written in His blood.  He will walk over to His wall and hang it up to admire its beauty and perfection.  At that moment, you will be standing there with Him, having finally realized that your entire life on earth was merely preparation for this moment, and the eternity to follow.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  ~Jesus

            Hold fast and draw near, Ariel.  Never let go of Him: close your eyes and dive.


Never pass up the opportunity to encourage someone. You never know how long your words might be remembered. He probably had no idea I would still cherish these words a year and a half after he wrote them. 

Encouragement is powerful. Use it.


Death: A Moment of Beauty

A year ago today, my family and I and a couple friends hiked Rainie Falls. Among those friends was a young man named Josh. None of us knew that May 5 was his last day on this earth. 

After Josh fell into that river, myself and many others felt a sense of an ending. A death, a hole, a sudden jolting stop. But for Josh, that fall was a beginning. A glorious beginning.

I don't want to think of it as the day he died. I want to think of May 5 as the day he finally became alive. That is why I wrote this. It is written from Josh's perspective -- a guess as to what it might have been like to die.


It all begins with the calming.

My adrenaline, my fear – all of the sensations that seemed so real when I fell into this river – fade away. Everything settles into a strange, quiet serenity. Almost as if time itself has ceased.
Until now I was praying half-consciously, but now I send intentional words into the silence: Lord, what is happening?

Understanding comes as peacefully as the stillness around me.

This is my last moment on earth.

I feel subdued, contented. I never knew it would be so peaceful to die.

The calm is broken by sudden elation. I am going to Heaven – I'm going to Jesus! The next moment my joy is jolted by panic. A thousand thoughts tumble through my mind – all of the things I haven't done, the things I haven't said... Wait – Lord – what about –

Come to me, my son.

Thrill pulsates through me. Did I just hear the voice of God? Did my King speak to me?

Without warning the faces of my parents flash in front of me. Wait! I want to hold on; I start reaching out, grasping for the familiarity of earth's consciousness. But Lord …

Joshua. Come home.

I let go.

Reality morphs. In a electrifying and indescribably beautiful moment, I die.

Light explodes in my mind. I shudder with joy as it flows through my veins, glowing, pulsing – my new heartbeat, my new pulse.

At the same time, I am aware of a deeply curious sensation. I am being lifted up…  out... out of the only reality I know. It's like I'm being turned inside out. Something is slipping off of me, as if an old, heavy, tattered coat that I never knew I was wearing. As the strangling burden releases me I realize what it is.

My sin.

Every struggle, every temptation, every misery over that old nature that continually tormented me – gone. Oh, Jesus, I will never sin again! God, thank you!

Freedom eclipses me. Freedom – so raw and intense I wonder that I can contain it. It is radiating out of me. Light is emanating from me, but not my own light. I know that. I am reflecting the Light of the Son of God.

Time doesn't matter anymore. Only one thing matters.

My entire being pours itself out in praise to my King. I can't bear to keep in such all-consuming joy. Most glorious of all, there is no struggle to find a way to convey my gratitude. It flows straight from my heart without pause, a stream of passionate adoration.

I am swept up in unspeakable ecstasy, with the knowledge I will be worshiping my God like this for an eternity to come.

Praise the Lord! It is finished. My soul has reached it's ultimate redemption. I am home.

I, Joshua Steven Eddy, died.

And now I am finally alive.