Tony Rossi, Director of Communications                                        

January 9, 2022

Actor Shaped by God’s Call to Love

 

Actor Josh Swickard has portrayed Detective Harrison Chase on ABC’s “General Hospital” since 2018.

But when COVID shut down the show’s production for months on end in 2020, he decided to put his

free time to good use by connecting with his 97-year-old grandfather daily over FaceTime for Bible

study. Those sessions bolstered Josh’s faith life, leaving him with a deeper connection to God than he

ever had before—and better prepared him to become a father, when he and his wife Lauren welcomed

their baby daughter Savannah into the world just a few months ago.  

Josh grew up in Illinois as the son of a pastor. During a “Christopher Closeup” interview, he told me he was fortunate to have parents who guided him and his three sisters in their lives, without resorting to a stern and rigid “do this or else” approach. As a result, neither he nor his siblings ever “really went nuts.” When Josh turned 18, he asked himself, “My parents believe this, and my grandparents believe this, but what do I believe?” 

He realized that Christianity was real for him, and he lived his life accordingly. Still, Josh knew there was a lot more room to grow in his faith, and the perfect person from whom to learn was his grandfather Arthur Brown, a World War II veteran who had run with a gang in high school, but who changed his ways after picking up a Bible. Josh called his grandpa during the COVID shutdown and said, “Hey, we’re both locked up right now. You want to do some FaceTimes every morning and we’ll crack the Word?” And they did, every morning, for one hour to three hours. 

Not only did Josh benefit in his understanding of Scripture, he came to appreciate his grandfather even more. Josh said, “Seeing how he lives life and dives into every morning, going, ‘This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.’ He’s forcing himself to do it with a smile and do it with joy in how he says it, no matter what he’s feeling. Then he starts quoting Scripture, and he sings a hymn.” 

That ritual taught Josh that we can all take action to choose our disposition for the day. He observed, “Routine or ritual, I think, is vital to a faith life. I equate everything to going to the gym. If you go to the gym every Sunday morning, you’re going to have some muscle. But Sunday morning’s not going to get you fit. Maybe three to four days a week, or every single morning, would get you fit…I’ve always been a Christian, but during COVID, I was like, [I need to start] daily conversation with the Lord—and throughout-the-day conversation with the Lord, [like] ‘Lord, I hope all my thoughts, my actions, and the words that come out my mouth, glorify You.’ Something that simple, and all of a sudden, you start to see life in a really beautiful way.” 

It made an impression on me that Josh conveys a sense of joy, humility, and kindness when discussing his Christian faith. He credits that to seeing the way his family has lived out their faith, without an overemphasis on judging others. “All I know,” explained Josh, “is that God has called me to be the light or the salt, and He’s called me to love. When I break it down to that simple truth, everything else goes out the window.” 

 

 

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