I don’t normally write posts like this, but then again, there aren’t a lot of young men like Nathan. On Saturday heaven became a lot sweeter, a lot braver, and a lot more special. A young boy whom I’ve known for nearly a decade, the one who used to come skipping into my home for piano lessons each week all happy-go-lucky, smiles, respectful, bright, and oh so adorable, went to heaven. Yes, I said heaven. At age 17 … I know … unbelievable.
He fought so hard for so long and … well, he was tired, and it was time. God called Him home. I’m sure when He was transported from this earthly life to his new heavenly one God greeted him with a smile as big as Nathan’s and said, “Well done …”
His parents … two of the most amazing people I know – strong, determined, courageous, compassionate, good people. I can only imagine their grief. They fought hard too – six years hard. Oh the love they have shared, along with the joys and sorrows of such a life altering experience. You can’t go through something like this and be the same. You must be different. They are different. They have always been different … special … amazing.
And Nathan’s brothers and sister … all precious, loving, kind, like Nathan. I can’t imagine what they’re feeling. The emotions – anger, fear, frustration, anguish, sorrow, confusion …
I wish I had words. Words that could help and heal. Words that could dispel the grief. There are no words … at least not that one can say.
There is a piece of music, though, that I’ve played over the years that depicts these last years of Nathan’s life. It’s a Nocturne by Chopin. In a minor key, it evokes a feeling of sorrow, longing, and utter anguish at times. It ebbs and flows with strains of peace and calm, a flourish here and there, then travels back to melancholy. The entire piece can move you to tears. Tears until the very end … when the sun comes out. The next to last measure of the piece switches from a sad minor key to a content, expectant major key and in that brief moment, there is rest, peace, and hope.
That’s the life of the believer. Often there is sadness, sorrow, fear, longing, anguish … a vast array of emotions. But there is always hope. Hope because of a future that is sweet … a future that is in heaven. When Nathan slipped from this life to the next, for him the sun came out, and it will never go out again. Forever he is in the presence of God’s Son, Jesus. He is healed. He is free. He is … alive in Christ Jesus! Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
Nathan, you are an amazing young man. You fought the good fight, you finished the race, you kept the faith. Now go get your crown! (2 Timothy 4:7-8)