when you think you’re just josiah

just josiah

Written by Sandra Heska King

PRAY EDITOR "Once a nurse, always a nurse," they say. But now I spend my days with laptop and camera in tow as I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I'm a Michigan gal, mom to two, grandmom to two, and wife to one. My husband and I live on 50 acres in the same 150-plus-year-old farmhouse he grew up in. I love this quote by Mary Oliver, "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." That's how I want to live. And I'm still learning how to be. Still.

April 16, 2013

just josiah

We’re at Steak ‘n Shake.

“Takhomasak,” gleams the neon sign over the counter.

It was years before I “got” it.

I’d frown. “Tahk’-oh-mah’-sak.” I’d say it slow. I’d say it fast. It sounded Japanese.

“Car, table, counter, or takhomasak?”

Ooooh. “Take home a sack.” Duh!

I’d stressed the wrong spots.

Dennis and I spoon chocolate malt from a shared glass.

The cherry is mine. And most of the whipped cream.

I sense a slight stroke in a few strands of my hair and a light tickle on my shoulder. I hear a woman whisper, “Sit down.”

I turn to peek over the booth back.

“Who’s gittin’ me?” I tease.

The dark-haired, saucer-eyed boy, about three years old, giggles.

“What’s your name?” I ask.

“Josiah,” he says softly. He tucks his head down but raises big brown eyes to mine.

“Oh, what a great Bible name!” I exclaim. “Do you know Josiah was a king? He was only eight years old. Are you a king?”

“No,” he sighs. “I’m just Josiah.”

Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. ~2 Kings 23:25 (NIV)

Back when we lived in Florida, I watched a meadowlark skitter up and down on a neighbor’s car bumper. It’d stop periodically to attack its reflection in the chrome.

And here, almost every spring, both a robin and a cardinal attack their own images in our basement windows.

I guess it’s a territorial or mating thing.

At any rate, they don’t like the images they see mirrored.

Sometimes we don’t like the images we see mirrored.

And we think of ourselves as “just (sigh) Josiah.”

We stress the wrong spots.

We might base our self-worth on our past failings, on our flawed appearance, on whether we feel loved, or if we measure up to our own or another’s expectations.

We see our own brokenness and not our wholeness in Christ.

We see imperfection where God sees perfection.

We see our dirt. He sings His delight.

We forget that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Fashioned by the Master’s hands.

Children of the King of the universe.

Each of us His favorite.

The apple of His eye.

We forget that He created us in His image and destined us for greatness, with a special purpose.

We forget how He sees us…






Brennan Manning reminds us that:

It is God who has called us by name. The God beside whose beauty the Grand Canyon is only a shadow has called us beloved. The God beside whose power the nuclear bomb is nothing has tender feelings for us. ~Brennan Manning in Abba’s Child

He goes on to say:

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion. ~Brennan Manning in Abba’s Child


God adores us.

We need to see ourselves through His lenses.

In His mirror.

Just as He sees us.

Which is definitely not “just (sigh) Josiah.”

swan swimming



  1. Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    Sandra, oh Sandra.
    Those children over the backs of booths–I’m convinced they’re God’s personal messengers. Thank you for this beautiful post, Friend. xoxoxo

    • Leslie Rowe

      Sheila I like your attitude. Sandra I like your post.

    • Sandra Heska King

      Yes, ma’m. Indeed they are. We need to pay more attention to them.

  2. Lyli Dunbar

    Beautiful. Thank you for this sweet reminder today.

  3. Elizabeth Stewart

    Love this.

  4. Martha Orlando

    Absolutely inspirational, Sandy! A great reminder that I’m not “just Martha,” but God’s beloved child. Blessings to you!

    • Sandra Heska King

      You are Martha, His beloved. He has called you by your name. (Isaiah 43:1) It’s one of my favorite scriptures.

    • Sandra Heska King

      I love that name! I have a Jeremy. Another son would have been Josiah.

  5. David Rupert

    There is to be said about who God calls us — beloved child. We don’t act that way. We don’t believe way. We don’t think that way. Great reminder.

    • Sandra Heska King

      We just don’t *feel* loveable sometimes. We love conditionally. But God’s love…no strings attached.

  6. soulstops

    oh, I can relate to trying to fully claim that I am God’s beloved..slowly..Thank you for your words and photos, Sandra…what a gift 🙂

    • Sandra Heska King

      That’s the thing, isn’t it, Dolly… just embracing that truth. Amazing grace!

  7. Beth

    Sandra, these are words I need to hold tightly to. Thank you! Beautifully written!!

  8. Patricia W Hunter

    Thank you for this, Sandra. Don’t know how I missed it last week. I missed a blessing. xox


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when you think you’re just josiah

by Sandra Heska King time to read: 3 min