Since I wrote a blog about being Isaac's brother, I thought it would make good sense to go ahead and write a blog about each of my brothers. Since I only have one left, this will be my final blog in this category. It has been a good run.
Until about late high school, I had a similar relationship with Josh to the one that I have with George Washington now. He was a remote figure that I revered and learned from, but was as approachable as the man on the moon (Joseph Ellis' words, not mine) and also he told me he had wooden teeth. Years later, I found out he was just kidding. Since he was six years older and hit puberty when he was in 4th grade, Josh was an unapproachable figure when I was in elementary school. I still remember vividly how elated I was the time that he called me "buddy" and asked how I was doing. It was like getting a call from the president. The first president. George Washington. But perhaps I am overdoing this analogy.
The three Hunter brothers have always a had a strict unspoken order of operations that I like to call the heirarchy of the brotherhood. Decisions always flowed from the top down when we were young. When Isaac decided to hold me down and dangle a loogie over my face, Josh could decide to tackle Isaac and grab his forearms to swing them at his own head and then say, "why are you hitting yourself, why are you hitting yourself?" When Josh started listening to Def Leppard, we all wanted to listen to them. When Josh dyed a streak of blonde into his trademark "poo" haircut, we thought it was the greatest advance in fashion that Altamonte Springs had ever seen. And when he chose to go to Taylor University, Isaac and I applied only to that college. Of course, I disliked Taylor so much that that decision now seems worse than dying your poo blonde.
It was during my breaks home from college that I first began to spend time with Josh as a peer, rather than as his much younger brother. He and Isaac and I spent hours together on Isaac's porch talking about where we were at ("we're on the porch," we'd say) and our plans for the future. When I think about "the good old days," those are the days that I think of. It was during that time that our bond by blood became our closest friendship. I recommended we get "B.F.F." tattoos. They said no.
Shortly after the time that Isaac was responding to God's call to start Summit, I felt like I was supposed to start a clinic in Orlando after my medical training. It seemed really far off then because medical training takes about the same amount of time as growing a floor-lengthed beard. But I talked it over with Josh and Isaac and they were encouraging about it. I will never forget when I was driving to Big John's a few days later and I got a call from Josh. "I've prayed about it and I feel like I am supposed to help you build this clinic," he said. It was like hearing Superman was going to help you move. At the time, Josh was the director of operations at Northland and heading up a multi-million dollar construction project. We agreed that we would start the clinic together and that was the start of Hunter Vision.
In the year's that have passed since then, I've talked with Josh on the phone nearly every day and met with him for a Hunter Vision meeting nearly every week. We talk about the plans for the clinic, we talk about how much we like hunting (Isaac and I started liking it because he did), we talk about our lives and our plans for the future. And it seems like the time when he was unapproachable was 209 years ago. Now he's just my brother. I can honestly say, however, that from a closer perspective I have come to respect him more than I could from a distance. And that is the mark of character. When you see someone up close without all the rough edges sanded down and they are actually more inspiring instead of less, you've witnessed something exceptional. Like the crossing of the Delaware River.