Joe was what my friend Jan calls an “old soul”. All of his life, he had a wisdom and maturity beyond his years. Even when he was a child, I often had the feeling he was the smartest person in the room. I mean I’m sure he wasn’t (at least not when I was in the room—haha!), but it really felt that way.
As I’ve mentioned before, he was not perfect. For instance, he sometimes came across as a bit condescending. If you were ever the recipient of this look, you know what I mean!
But he continually fought against his natural pride and I witnessed his natural humility take over as he grew up. He loved quietly helping others reach their potential. His personality was such that he eschewed both the limelight and the credit. Ironically though, he often found himself in positions of leadership. Leading worship music, leading a Bible study, teaching guitar or martial arts, unofficially mentoring individual teens who sought his advice and guidance.
Whether teaching, performing, or leading a group, Joe had a lot to give. He gave generously without expecting anything in return. (Even when he taught guitar, it was I who encouraged him to charge something. He just wanted to pass on his knowledge).
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)