Tragedies and crisis are something that we all face at some point in our lives. It’s either it brings out the best in us or the worst in us.
Hardships are truly a burden to carry every single day, but let’s be inspired by the life of Joshua Miele, who exemplified great faith and perseverance despite the painful circumstances he experienced at a very young age.
At four years old, Joshua, as a kid, beginning to wander the world around him, found himself being victimized by a mentally ill neighbor who poured acid on his head when he was playing outside of his house. That moment changed his life forever. The “accident” left him with blind eyes, a distorted face, and emotional trauma that had a lasting effect on his whole life. Before the horrible day, he looked like any other kid who was rough and tumble, with hair colored brown and a charming blue-eyed boy full of excitement and wanderlust. But regardless of what happened, he still looked like this—but even more hopeful and adventurous.
Joshua, full of hope and joy, said, “I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to get people to recognize that it was not a tragedy or horror show. It’s just the way things turned out. ” He also added: “Yes, it was painful, and yes, it completely changed my life.” I am now burned and I wasn’t before. But I want parents of blind children and parents of disabled children to know that this is not a tragedy. It is just a challenge. It is something that people just have to get through. “
Imagine the acceptance, the joy, and the faith this man is exemplifying. Does anyone reading this know someone like him? His perspective on life brought the best out of him. He lived an inspiring life we all wish we had: perspective and faith. Miele showed us what it meant to fix our eyes on Jesus no matter what circumstances we experience in life.
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2
God is in the business of putting our faith to perfection through life’s challenges and circumstances. The verse clearly states that we should fix our gaze on Him who endured such pain for us.
Regardless of Joshua’s limitations, he placed himself in a position to continually dream for himself and others. He dreamt of being a space scientist one day, but realized after his internship at NASA that he was limited in fulfilling it since it didn’t have the resources for blind people. The necessary devices for scientists to analyze data were not blind person-friendly. But instead of feeling bad about it because of his physical limitations, he was challenged to design tools for himself and others like him. He said with conviction, “The world was not serving me in the way I wanted, and I realized that if I was going to have the tools I needed, I had to design them myself.” What a hopeful man!
Because of Joshua’s perspective, he is making a difference today through making the world accessible for people who are blind. He innovated tools for the blind community to be able to live normally and navigate the complexity of this world despite their limitations. Some of them were expressed in YouDescribe, where it is used as a commentary on Youtube videos and a print map tactile for neighborhoods. It’s designed as a public audio channel.
Joshua was acknowledged by the CEO of the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired and also by a friend, Bryan Bashin. He admired Joshua for his endurance, gifts, and hope, which he is demonstrating to the entire world. Miele, after winning $625,000, didn’t only use it for himself but also to teach students to innovate creative tools that will make an impact on the world someday. He is delighted at the opportunities given to him in his lifetime. He didn’t only have overflowing opportunities in the industry, but also had a wonderful opportunity to build his own family. Joshua’s wife said that her husband joyfully walks through life despite the limitations that changed his life forever.
Having kids is a leap of faith, but a bundle of joy to have. His kids love his talents and cooking, too! For them, he is everything! What a joyful man he really is! Remember the verse in James?
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4
How can a man who has experienced so much still remain joyful? God has indeed given us our greatest example, and through him we can be joyful. We can overcome it!
This man is a living testimony that no matter what we go through in life, God is in the business of turning our trials into testimonies, tears into stories, and struggles into victories.