Item description for Joshua: A Parable for Today (Joshua) by Joseph F. Girzone...
Overview Tells the story of Joshua, the simple, hardworking man who does beautiful carpentry and has an extraordinary effect on everyone he meets, transforming them with warmth and love
Publishers Description Joseph Girzone wrote his parable in 1983 and published it himself with neither accompanying fanfare nor expectation of the extraordinary effect it would have on people around the world. With only word-of-mouth for advertising, and by virtue of its siniple message of love, Joshua became an international force of spiritual strength. after its modest beginnings, Joshua and its sequels have millions of readers around the world and continue to bring hope and peace to all who seek nourishment. When Joshua moves to a small cabin on the edge of town, the local people are at first mystified, then confused by his presence. A quiet and simple man, Joshua appears to seek nothing for himself. He supports himself solely by carpentry and woodworking, and he charges very little for his services. Yet his work is exquisite. Even more exquisite, and even more mysterious, is the extraordinary effect he has on everyone he meets. All who come in contact with him can't help but be transformed by his incredible warmth. The acceptance and love in his eyes and in each actions amazes the townspeople. Who is Joshua and just what is he up to? The answer to that question amazes them almost as much discovery of that same transforming power in each of their own hearts.
Joseph F. Girzone retired from the active priesthood in 1981 for health reasons. He then embarked on the suprising writing career that has brought him millions of readers. Among his bestselling titles are Never Alone, Joshua, and A Portrait of Jesus. He lives in Albany, New York.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
There are stories throughout history about mysterious appearances of the Divine Presence in people's lives. Some are mythical, and others are quite well documented, as is the case with Moses, the prophets, and many of the saints. While some people might feel God's comings and goings should be restricted as prescribed in Revelation, it seems God nonetheless still has His own mind and feels free to move about His creation as He chooses. As to the reasons for such supernatural happenings, only God can provide the answer. I like to think that as human events flow farther and farther away from the initial shock of the Resurrection, people find reasons for belief increasingly harder to accept than did people of the past. God seems to understand the difficulty of finding faith in a faithless age, and, as in the story of the Prodigal Son, condescends to our human weakness to help our unbelief. That may be the reason why Joshua, in this present story, returns for another visit, to bring comfort and hope to a people frightened about dire prophecies of imminent disaster.
It was a bitterly cold winter night. A lone stranger walked down a street in the City of Brotherly Love, not far from the old Reading Railroad Station, recently converted into the Reading Market. People were rushing--many were on their way to celebrate with friends, others to evening services, some were even last-minute shoppers, for it is Christmas Eve. The stranger was not properly dressed for such a cold night, wearing nothing more than a woolen shirt, ordinary pants, and sandals. But surprisingly enough, this man seemed unconcerned about his exposure to the elements as he stopped at the corner, looked in different directions, and began to cross the street. Seemingly out of nowhere a speeding car squealed around the corner, barely missing the stranger but managing to soak him with icy slush.
Furious at the close call, the driver yelled out the window, "Watch where you're walking, you lazy bum." Unperturbed, the stranger continued on his way as if he heard nothing, joining the people who were headed toward a church a few blocks away. No one paid much attention to the stranger, but those who did commented to their companions on how meagerly clad he was for such a freezing cold night. One lady suggested her husband give him his overcoat as he had two more at home.
"Honey, you've got to be kidding! If he wants to dress that way, that's his problem. There's no reason why he can't work like everyone else. Why should I be expected to dress him? I've never in my life ever seen a truly poor person. People like him are just too lazy to work."
The wife said nothing more and the couple hurried toward the joyful sound of Christmas hymns. Taking no notice of this exchange, the stranger himself continued toward the church. At the steps of the church, a young boy selling calendars watched with sadness as he approached.
"'Hey, mister, you look cold. Don't you have anything better than that to wear?'"
"That's all I have, Thomas. But I don't mind."
"But you have to mind. It's a cold night. You're going to freeze, especially from that guy splashing you with slush. There he goes into the church with his family. He's not a very nice man. I know him. Here, mister, take my coat. I have a sweater underneath, so I can keep warm," the boy said as he took off his coat. It had a hole in the elbow of one sleeve. The coat was old, probably handed down in the family from one child to the next.
"By the way, mister, what's your name?"
"Joshua, that's a nice name. But how did you know my name?" the boy asked, as he offered his coat to Joshua. When Joshua did not respond immediately, the boy, in his excitement to help the stranger, forgot that he never got an answer to his question.
Joshua accepted the gift so generously offered and tried to put it on. It was clearly too small, but as he put his arm in the sleeve, it expanded to a perfect fit. As the tiny coat grew to Joshua's size, Joshua watched the boy's growing amazement and smiled. Then, taking off the coat, he gave it back to the boy. It was no longer a worn-out rag, but a beautiful new coat. The coat the boy gave Joshua, Joshua was still wearing.
"Gee, mister, how did you do that?"
Joshua smiled. "Our Father in heaven always takes good care of us, Thomas. I also noticed that people were not buying your calendars. Your Heavenly Father knows your parents need the money to buy clothes for your family for Christmas, so He blessed you. You will find what He gave you in the right hand pocket. The calendars he would like you to give to poor people when you see them tomorrow."
The boy reached into his pocket, and to his surprise, found it full of money.
The parish priest on his way to Mass watched this touching scene unfold from a distance. The boy he had known since birth. He belonged to a poor family that lived in the parish, good people struggling hard to survive. The priest had often helped them, and had allowed the boy to sell his calendars outside the church each year to earn a little money for Christmas. The priest was touched when he saw the boy offer Joshua his coat, but was awestruck at what followed. He wanted to walk over and become involved, but, out of respect for the privacy of what he was witnessing, thought it best that he wait. After Joshua gave the boy back his coat, he turned and looked over at the priest and, in a kind gesture of recognition, smiled at him. The priest then knew. He smiled and entered the church, rubbing the tears from his eyes. He turned as if he wanted to go back and talk to the stranger, but thought differently, then continued up the aisle of the church. To intrude on such an intimate encounter would be rude. It was the boy's special moment. The stranger's smile was blessing enough.
In the meantime, when the boy realized how much money there was in the pocket, he was overjoyed.
"Thank you, mister. Thank you so much. Now, I can buy my mother and father and my sisters presents for Christmas. The man at the store told me he was closing late and would wait for me, like he did last year."
"Now, go home, son, and get some sleep."
"No, no. I can't do that. I want to go in and thank Jesus. It's his birthday, you know." The boy ran up the stairs of the church and went inside. Joshua followed slowly behind, and stood there for a few moments, looking across the crowded rows of people singing the age-old songs of Jesus' birth. Their love and good will were genuine, but their understanding, like that of the people of old, was, oh, so wanting. He still loved them, and smiled at this little flock of singing sheep. He turned, walked out into the street, and continued in the direction of the Reading Market.
Citations And Professional Reviews Joshua: A Parable for Today (Joshua) by Joseph F. Girzone has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 08/01/1994
Library Journal Prepub Alert - 08/01/1994 page 58
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Format: Deluxe Edition
Studio: Doubleday Religion
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Mar 5, 2002
Publisher Doubleday Religion
ISBN 0385474210 ISBN13 9780385474214
Availability 0 units.
More About Joseph F. Girzone
Father Joseph Girzone (born 1930) is an American writer, and most notable as the author of the Joshua series. Girzone was born in Albany, New York, to parents Peter and Margaret Girzone. He entered the Carmelite Order in 1948 and was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1955.
After serving as pastor for various New York churches, he retired from the active priesthood in 1981 for health reasons. Following his retirement, he embarked on a second career as a full-time writer and speaker.
Joseph Girzone now lives in Altamont, New York.
In 1995 he established the Joshua Foundation, "an organization dedicated to making Jesus better known throughout the world."
Joseph F. Girzone currently resides in Albany, in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Joshua: A Parable for Today?
A modern day Jesus story Jan 11, 2007
What a great book. I loved how Joshua explained how God views denominations and what they really do to our relationship with Him. Joshua is a modern day Jesus, who speaks with Godly insight, and the book shows how he probably would be treated today. This is a great and easy read and I have purchased this book for and recommended it to friends and family.
a book worth sending to a friend Jan 7, 2007
I found this book to be motivating and inspiring. I have shared it with those from other faith backgrounds. They, too, feel the message is universal.
Was Joshua Truly A Man Of God? Nov 12, 2006
Auburn is a small hamlet in this ficitonal parable about a man of God, or one who was close to it. There were six churches in that small place, predominately Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian, which you will find everywhere and anywhere. It was a tightly knit community which did not accept strangers in their midst. Most had been there since childhood and had nice relationships with each other. You had to have lived there more than fifteen years not be to classified as a stranger.
Thus, this unassuming man named Joshua moved into a small cottage on the outskirts of the town and was the focus of everyone's opinion and the talk of the village. The mailman was the first to enter the workshop to see the exquisite wood carvings and statues which Joshua mastered. He mad a wood statue of Moses for a synagogue. His carvings of the apostel Peter for the Episcopal and Pentecostal churches were admired, and made him an icon of sorts. Joshua made a lot of people happy with his good sense of humor, and that was a wonderful thing. He kept to himself with his work; everyone has a right to live in peace. Until, he tried to be a modern Christ but did not succeed. He tried to unify the different congregations including the Catholic and Lutheran, which anyone with any sense knows is impossible. He didn't put on airs or act like a snob, just an ordinary person who seemed to have miraculous powers like the Joshua in the Bible.
It was well known that Joshua frequented the liquor store, which caused some consternation. He seemed religious but why the need for spirits of that sort to create his magic religious symbols and to keep on an even keel. Joshu was told that his attitude lacked the docility and humanity which befits a Christian layman, that in the future he would do well to cultivate virtues for the benefit of the soul and the edification of his fellow Christians. Word spread of the final days of Joshua and the hearts of many were soothed or grieved at the end of that summer he spent among them.
Joshua's memory would linger in their lives as a marvelous messenger of God (?) Though this novel is fictional, it is moving and feels very Biblical. He went as he came as a mystery who'd touched all of their lives in one way or another. We need more "real" Joshuas in our world of constant turmoil. There are such people in our lives who are truly compassionate and hold no grudges, but we should all strive to follow their example as much as we can. We're all different, with different beliefs, religious and otherwise, but need to learn to live in peace -- not just in Auburn (a fictional community).
This book was the beginning of a whole series about the Joshuas of Mr. Girzone's imagination. It's been ten years and there are several followups, but nothing can match this first and most important introduction to a modern apostle.
Joshua Nov 9, 2006
"Joshua" is a very inspiring book about a man who epitomizes the traits and character of Jesus. In fact, the reader will probably infer after reading a few pages, that the author's intent is to show Jesus and how he would act and react to the many situations developed in a very insightful way by Girzone. It is, in a way, a mystery which keeps the reader spell-bound until the last page. I highly recommend this book to anyone. J. Bollinger
This is the Christ I know Nov 4, 2006
This is a simple book about a modern day person named Joshua. Joshua happens to be a carpenter. The parallels to Christ don't end there. I won't go into the details of the story but it is worth your time and money. This book is simple enough for a child to read and has enough meaning for any adult. I usually buy many copies of the book in order to give them away. I give it to the non-Christian and tell them, "This is the Christ I know." Unfortunately the message of Christ is often muddled by Christians listening to their head instead of their heart. I also give it to the Christian and ask them to read it and pass it on to a non-Christian.