I remember when I first met Josias. I was working in the bookstore at OCU. He walked in with a few other students, I helped them find their books and he was on his way, just like many before him and many after. A few weeks later, I was in the cafeteria having dinner with a friend and he walked up and sat next to us.
My friend introduced us and he smiled and said, “Hey, we’re gonna be friends!”
“Um, nope. I don’t befriend underclassmen,” I said without hesitation.
“Well, I’m not like all the underclassmen,” he replied.
I didn’t respond. Instead, I kept eating and I left. When I got home that night, I pulled open Facebook and there was a friend request. It was Josias. I ignored it to the purgatory of other friend request I had no intention of accepting. About a week later, I ran into him again. He was having trouble opening his mailbox as was 98% of campus. As I went to retrieve the mail from his box, he mentioned the friend request.
“I sent you a friend request,” he said.
“I know,” I said.
“Well aren’t you gonna accept it, we’re friends now,” he said.
“So you say, how am I gonna look if you’re the only underclassmen on my list,” I laughed.
We talked for a bit as I got his mail and showed him the trick to opening the mailbox and before we parted way, he asked,
“So when are you gonna accept my request?”
“When you’re not an underclassmen anymore,” I said over my shoulder, walking back to my office.
I’d see Josias from time to time and we’d have our little conversations and over the course of that time, I’d come to know a genuinely cool person. And while I’d yet to add his friend request, I’d see his post from time to time and I realized how incredible of a person he was.
He was kind and caring and he invested in the lives of the people around him like no one else. He gave without exception and loved endearingly. He will most certainly be missed. The day he died, 3 years ago today–it was heartbreaking–for all of us. I went home that night and I accepted Josias’ friend request. In the days that followed I made a vow–one I still live by to this day–to live like Christ–to live like Josias.