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The other day, our son, Joshua, did something he didn’t have to do, and when I thanked him, “Thank you, Joshua,” it struck me that I say that a lot. I’m sure I say these three words daily, if not multiple times a day. I know that I say them often.

Joshua is our second son, and he is soon to be sixteen. In his younger years, he was almost my spitting image – same style hair, build, personality. Now, the boy is almost as tall as our eldest son, which is plenty taller than me. He may still look like me, but he wouldn’t be wrestling at 108 pounds as a sophomore in high school like I did.

What I admire most in this boy is his spirit. He certainly has a more tender, gentle spirit than I did at that age (and it could possibly be argued that it is more tender and gentle than mine now). He takes to little kids wonderfully well, and the little kids love him. Thank you, Joshua, for playing with the little ones while the adults met. He’s quick to learn a new friend’s name and favorite hobby. If you have anything in common with him, then it’s as if you have everything in common with him. He is definitely an outgoing person who doesn’t meet a stranger. Thank you, Joshua, for reaching out to Billy.

It really doesn’t matter what you ask of him, Joshua will do it. And he’ll do it without griping or moaning or groaning. Seriously, sometimes I wonder whose kid this is. Joshua, will you take the trash out, please? Yes, ma’am. Joshua, will you help your sister with that? Yes, sir. Joshua, will you… Yes… Thank you, Joshua. You’re welcome.

Plus, the boy will volunteer for things (like taking out the trash, washing the dishes, etc.) before any of his siblings will. He seems to constantly be right where help is needed. Thank you, Joshua, for doing that.

Do I love Joshua more than my other kiddos? NO. Is Joshua better or more special than my other kiddos? NO. I just see in him a rare spirit in the world today. I see in him the spirit, or life, of Christ. Love and compassion emanate from the boy. He demonstrates a servant’s heart. He’ll go that extra mile. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he’s still not even sixteen yet, and he acts plenty like a teenage boy and exemplifies what comes with that: inexperience and immaturity. But the fruit of the Spirit that manifests from the boy is unmistakable: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Again, he’s not perfect, and he displays some of these more than others, but I’ve witnessed them all in him.)

So, why write this article? Because I wanted to, and I felt a strong urging to do so. There’s so much negativity on the web and in the world today, how nice is it to see a little light of Christ shining through a brother? Especially such a young brother who doesn’t fully realize the impact he can have on the world around him? Something about childlike faith comes to mind.

So, for exhibiting a little Christ in your life, thank you, Joshua.

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