There is an impactful reason why I started the Soldier of God movement. Simply put, I didn’t
start out in life as a Christian. I didn’t attend Church. I didn’t go to Bible school and I didn’t pray after
meals. To be honest, I lived with several families throughout my childhood and none of them even
mentioned God. My childhood was more about dodging the devil and less about finding grace. Every
once in a while, some stranger who felt sorry for the poor kids down the street would invite us to
Sunday school. It was there that I learned of this man called Jesus.
I’d like to say that I became a Christian at a young age and that’s how I made it through my
childhood alive or not in prison. Nope. It just confused me. I felt like I was a Christian, but I didn’t like
being around Christians. They were so….clean. I’m not talking about the dirt on their body clean. I mean
I felt like I couldn’t compete. I had already seen too much of the evil in this world. There’s no way I
could scrub my memories well enough to get all the pictures out of my head, and start living and acting
as untouched as them. When Christians spoke to me, they always ministered the same way. “Joshua, do
you want to go to Heaven or Hell?” Honestly, I wanted them to get the hell away from me. That is a silly
question. Who in their right mind wants to go to hell? Not just that. The question didn’t make sense.
How could a God with perfect love, narrow it down to that one question? That’s a lot of pressure to put
on someone like me.
In the summer before my senior year of high school, I moved out onto my own. I’ve always
wanted to be free and never knew how or where I’d find it, so I ended up hanging out with pot kings and
heroine junkies. Now, while living in my 1988 Thunderbird, I did learn that freedom was not just about
owning my time. It was also in how I spent it. Thankfully, a woman who listened to God rescued me
from that Thunderbird, so I didn’t have to spend my time there. She was a single mother of two teenage
daughters living on minimum wage. I was that stray dog that should have been sent to the pound. I’ve
never seen kindness like that before. I owed her everything, so I gladly attended church with her every
Sunday. I found her to be the exception to the Christianity I had understood. She didn’t judge me or tell
me I’m going to hell. She didn’t even make me choose between Heaven or Hell. That being said, church
for me only lasted about a year. I did not leave because of her. I left because Christians seemed so sad
and so misplaced. I didn’t want to be a part of something that wasn’t helping others.
Let’s fast forward, for the sake of being long winded, to me becoming a police officer. At this
point, I had already studied many other belief systems such as Buddhism, Taoism and even mythology.
None of these helped me to become a better human. For eleven years, I served as a police officer and
for eleven years I spent every day trying to make someone’s day better than it was before they met me.
I’d like to say I did. I would like to say that, but I don’t know. Most days any good I did, went unnoticed
and then the problem returned later. Too often sooner than later. I knew I was needed, and I knew that
my work was a detrimental part of society. I just wanted to do more. Not just because they called me. I
was only one man. I’m still only one man.
Life has a way of turning at the bend when you didn’t know it needed to. I left law enforcement.
I became someone everyone tries to avoid. A car salesman. I honestly only chose this profession for the
money. I was not trained in anything practical, but I needed a profession that would pay more than just
a few bucks less than I needed to pay my bills.
What I found amazing was I got pretty good at it. I would talk to half the people and sell 50%
more than most salesman. This wasn’t an ordinary dealership. They played Christian music and had
prayer meetings on Fridays. I was a bit uneasy at first. There’s no way I could keep from cussing or
being “human”. That’s what ended up surprising me. They were human. These guys would occasionally
cuss or lose their temper. They weren’t what I thought Christianity was. They also seemed legitimately
concerned with everyone’s. Not in the nosey neighbor sense, but in the brother that wants to enrich
your life sense.
It was here that I found that even a salesman could give hope to people. I’m not talking about a
way to buy a car hope. I’m talking about the brink of tears all the time hope. I was able to reach people
and speak into their lives. This was the seed I needed. It got me to start thinking about the times in life
that we could all be that help. Them times that our words could be the seed in someone’s life that they
needed but didn’t know how to receive. With this constantly on my mind, I saw a Christian shirt that
had some generic Bible quote on it. It was then that I had an epiphany of an observation. Christian
shirts (as a whole) were the only shirts that seemed to try to spread positive messages and inspiration.
At almost the same time as reading the shirt, I was saddened. This shirt only spoke to other Christians.
That was not what Christ did. He helped everyone. He didn’t say you had to believe in him in order to
get help from him. He wanted you to do that by choice. However, he would still share his love.
Christian shirts are not a bad thing, but they only speak to other Christians or announce the wearers
beliefs. Not only that, a good percentage of them are dreadfully uncomfortable and ill-fitting. That’s
when it hit me. Why not have a shirt that would not just be for the wearer. Imagine standing in line at
the store. The person behind you is fighting a battle you can’t see. Let’s say they’re fighting a powerful
addiction. They look up from their normal gaze at the ground and see your shirt. At first glance, they
think “That’s pretty badass”. Then they look closer. There is a Templar dagger piercing the deceased
skull of a demon with the word “unstoppable” in bold print. It hits them to their soul. A righteous spirit
is unstoppable when fighting their demons. Now imagine this happening an infinite amount of times.
How many seeds can you plant? There is a truth I have always known, especially in law enforcement.
You cannot communicate the same way to speak to everyone. Christians talk like Christians. I’m not
saying that’s bad, but there are many people that think they are being “Bible thumped” every time a
Christian speaks. Truth be told, they don’t even realize they are doing it or speaking differently. Most
Christians often forget the verse in I Corinthians 9 22 “I became weak to win the weak: I am made all
things to all men, that I might by all means save some”.
I am not trying to convert everyone to my beliefs. I’m also not trying to hide my own beliefs.
I’m simply trying to do what Christ said to do. Love everyone. I want to make it possible for everyone to
be that sliver of hope and inspiration to a stranger. You don’t have to be a Christian to wear these
shirts. You don’t have to give your life to God. You just have to be willing to spread hope and
inspiration…while wearing a very very comfortable shirt.