Joe was present in my life sporadically starting in my youth, lasting through my time at Philadelphia Biblical University (now Cairn University). While he was the worship leader at Calvary Church, he graciously refined my singing ability, and later attempted to teach me to play the bass guitar. The former stuck, I still love to sing to this day. The later didn’t stick at all. In many ways Joe encouraged me to explore voice as my instrument and personal way to worship the Lord. While I do not sing publicly as I once did, singing is still my main mode of worship.
During my high school years Joe lead a group of student musicians and vocalists to occasionally lead Sunday morning worship or to sing in special events. I have very fond memories of shivering in December waiting to sing as part of the Christmas and nativity celebration. The songs Joe wrote for that particular season has stuck with me to this day. If I had to attribute my love of singing and worship to one man, it would be Joe. Though, I have a feeling he would be quick to point out that he was only helping me realize a love that God had already impressed on my heart. Joe was that kind of man. So unassuming. So giving. So humble.
As people have been recounting their memories of Joe, I realize there has been much about Joe I have forgotten over the years. For example, his love of Cheetos or SPAM, even what a complete goofball he could be. I always remember him as a great musician who loved the Lord. Yet, he loved to laugh, and have a good time with those around him. He was quick to bring joy to those around him, especially when music was involved. You could tell he was absolutely in his element when he was strumming on his guitar or playing on his keyboard. During the year I worked at Calvary Church, I was fortunate to have an office next Joe’s. The music coming from his office, whether he was working on a new song, practicing with a group or individual, or simply playing for himself always seemed to bring joy to my heart.
Grief is a funny thing. It hits you in weird ways and at unexpected ways. I was looking through the pictures others have shared of Joe in his various roles during his ministry and it finally struck me that we will no longer be blessed by Joe’s creative genius and generous heart. While Joe, the Hesh family, and I have fallen out of touch in recent years, that thought gave me pause, resulting in this writing. If the small amount of time Joe and I shared together resulted in my pause, sorrow, and remembering, I can only imagine the emotions going through those who spent more time with him. My heart goes out to Hesh family during this time. You have my support and prayers.
There is a thought that brings a smile to my face. Joe is now singing in the presence of our Lord on high for eternity.
Joe was a great man who will be missed by all who he touched.
For more information concerning Joe’s memorial service please follow this link.
It is with a heavy but blessed heart I end this entry.
Till next we meet.