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)
Kathy Hyman says
Wonderful tribute to Nathan and his family and wonderful reminder of our hope, our sure thing, in Jesus Christ . I will be looking for Chopin Noctorne immediately. Thank you. We have prayed for Nathan and family for several years. Our daughter Meredith was in youth group with him for several years but we do not know his family. Please tell them that we will continue to pray for them. I can’t imagine how this holiday season will be for them but I know we have a compassionate Comforter.
Jen Westbrook says
This is beautiful Jacqueline.
Joyce D .Cascio says
Jacqueline, you are an amazing person and I am blessed to be called your Aunt and friend in Jesus.
Janice Hardigree says
Jacqueline, this remembrance of Nathan is one of the most positive, peaceful and God honoring pieces I have ever read. What a God we serve; what a God Nathan served! What a magnificent talent God has given you with the written word; His Words of hope, love, and encouragement through our Savior Jesus Christ.
Carol Gay says
Thank You Jacqueline! That was beautiful!!
Susan Cady says
Beautiful and well said, Jacqueline! Thanks so much for sharing this today!
Sweet tribute Jacqueline. I am very happy for Nathan but very sad for all the rest of us…. I feel like we need to see more of the musical side of you at Warren.
Sherri Rivers says
Jacqueline: I had all of her children in BSF. What an amazing family; what an amazing love. Kathy Boatman and I went to visitation. So sweet to see thiese former BSF-ers all grown up. Such special memories of some of my favorite years of service.
What a beautiful tribute!
Phyllis Smith says
That was the most beautiful tribute I have ever read. Nathan was an inspiration to us all to keep the
faith even though we go through the burning flame. I am sad for his family but in my heart I am glad
to know he is with Jesus and will suffer no more.