There are a few people we are to move to the head of the table, at least in our home and our world. Joshua is one of these. There are many Joshuas in the world who are compelled to walk, compelled to find their food and clothing in dumpsters, compelled to live under bridges, sleep in culverts, barns, tents and abandoned buildings. For one reason or another they have been exiled from society or have chosen to exile themselves. They have been judged as tramps--worthless and hopeless by mainstream society.
Psychiatrists donít understand them or know what to do with or for them; priests donít understand them; judges donít understand them; counselors donít understand them and social workers are at their witsí end. Many hope that someone else will be that Good Samaritan and put a coin in their cups, invite them to dinner or pray for them. Police move them into the next county and tell them to stay away or else. To be able to understand these outcasts, orphans and or martyrs, one has had to walk in their shoes. Learning about them via textbooks touches our heads but not our hearts.
I have a love for these people, a love that only Jesus could have placed in my heart, a love that has compelled me to make Joshuaís story public with his permission, a love that compels me to be their advocate. I love these people because I can identify with them. I can see how very precious they are to the God who restored my mind and the mind of King Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in the Book of Daniel, chapter 4. This king acted like an animal and lived among them for seven years before his mind and kingdom was restored.
As you journey with Joshua through these pages, walking some 42 months and 5,700 plus miles, you are bound to marvel. You might ask, "Who gave him these crazy marching orders? Who and what kept him alive and going? Why did God allow this? Why didnít someone grab him and put him in a mental institution and throw the key away?" I tell you why, "God wanted this story to be written and Joshua was willing to pay the price." And maybe you also have a story that needs to be told and written?
It is possible and likely that some who read these pages will identify with Joshua. They will be able to see their own life and their own compulsive and strange behavior through different lenses. I underwent spiritual cataract surgery as I read his story. I will never be the same.
God bless you for taking the time getting acquainted with my friend Joshua. If you love him, buy him a cup of coffee and let him tell you his story. Every town has at least one Joshua.
Peter Laue -- The Lordís Scribe