When a person learns that they are dying, it does not mean they are dead or even half-dead.
It means they are alive.
Their life matters.
Each day counts.
Purpose and passion take on new meaning.
Josh wants his living and his dying to make a difference.
He’s charting a course. Counting the days.
Running his race – like he’s never ran before.
It all began at the Hospice Home in Ft. Wayne (a remarkable place filled with remarkable people) in the last week of August. We were instructed by the staff to do what we needed to do and initiate the “goodbyes” that needed to be said. Josh was declining rapidly. A dear friend came with glass hearts for Josh to give to those he loved. It was a precious, powerful demonstration of love. The bowl of hearts soon ran dry.
In a wakeful moment, I explained we needed to get more “forget-me-nots.”
“I’ll look for hearts, Josh, but I don’t know what I’ll find.”
“Whatever you find, make sure it’s red. I want them to remember ‘life is about love.’”
Noah and I jumped in the car and found a Michael’s craft store. To our surprise, there were no glass hearts to be found, but, through tears, an employee joined the search. We found little crosses, bead hearts, and various plastic “gems.” I bought them all. I wanted Josh to choose. Once back at the Hospice Home, he instantly knew what he wanted.
It didn’t take long before a visitor arrived to say goodbye to Josh. We got a front row seat.
“I’d like to give you this diamond,” he said, as he placed it into the hands of his friend. He then cradled their hand in both of his. “It’s red because ‘love matters.’ We need to love in a way that makes a difference. It’s a diamond because God does amazing things under heat and pressure. He does His best work when life is the hardest. Don’t forget.”
Red Diamond Days began.
Josh is a ‘man on a mission.’
Running his race.
An Invitation to Join Josh
Hundreds of Red Diamonds are now in others’ hands along with God’s powerful message of love and truth. Some have gone to people Josh knows and some to those he meets for the first time – medical supply delivery people, hospital workers, ER nurses, hospice staff, helicopter pilots. Others are now sharing them as well – a second grade teacher with the kids in her class and leaders with their students at a Jr. High youth rally.
Josh would like you to join his “Red Diamond” giveaway. Josh has set a goal to give away 100,000 Red Diamonds. Will you help him? It’s simple:
- Pick up some Red Diamonds. They can be found online or at your local hobby store. We originally found them in boxes of 100 for $5 at Michael’s.
- Share the gems with people. Pass along to those you know and love and, when comfortable, with individuals you meet. Keep them handy in your car, desk, bag, or on a shelf in your dorm. When people ask, give them a diamond and share the simple message: “hear, know, and do not forget God’s love.”
- Include a Care Card. We have created a small card (PDF, 542K) to pass along with the Red Diamond. Print the PDF (in black & white or color), trim out the cards and share.
- Tell us how it goes. Drop us a line on Facebook to let us know about how you are living and giving during these “Red Diamond Days.” (We’d also love for you to share Red Diamond Days to your Facebook friends – help us spread the love!)
We’re working to launch a website for the Red Diamond Days project; it is not yet up and running, but will be soon. We’ll use the site to share a little bit about Josh and his great desire to “Go M.A.D. – Go Make A Difference.” The page will also include a clear “Good News” gospel presentation a feature a link to the Chevy commercial that reminded Josh of God’s great pursuit. We pray this site will be a mighty tool in God’s hands and an easy way for us to intentionally connect with others in a way that can make a difference.
Love matters. God works. Now, Go M.A.D!