In Remembrance of Nate Sharp

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Nate Dogg, you are missed

This portion of is devoted completely to the remembrance of the one and only Nate Sharp, one of my very best friends, and one of The Brothers. One year ago on September 20 2001, the Lord chose to take Nate out of this world and out of his painful body (already less an arm - about the loss of which he was never at a loss for a joke, however), and home to God's side. At this very moment, he's hanging with Dr. Greg Bahnsen, both of them having been perfected in Christ - and they're probably engaged in a spirited debate about something or other - Nate never feared mixing it up theologically with GLB, and he was loved and respected for it.

"For to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better."
Paul, in his Epistle to the Philippians

I'm not sure if this little memorial of mine will be well received or not, but putting it together is just something cathartic for myself to help me get through how much I miss him right now. I'm getting married in less than three weeks, and mark my words, he's going to be there - he is truly one of my groomsmen in spirit, in mind, and in all of our hearts. I thought about apologizing if this brings any pain to anyone, but then I got to thinking, and decided that it's not a bad thing to feel the pain of loss that we feel. Rather, we need it - for it's in the facing of the pain, embracing it and holding it close to us, that makes us stronger and more able to handle any future pain that the world will throw at us. Just be careful not to bottle it up and let fester - it has to be expressed and shared, so it doesn't turn itself to a less than profitable purpose.

Towards that end, I wanted to share the songs I put on a CD I made tonight, songs that help me to both experience the pain of loss that I feel to have to wait so long to see Nate again, and celebrate the joy at knowing that he's so much happier right now, having both his arms back and being with Christ - and that he'll be the first to greet me on that wonderful day that I go to join him and all the others who have fallen asleep in Christ! I tried to upload MP3s of all of them, just for the weekend, so that I could truly share them with people - then I realized that I only have 10MB of space, which is only about 1/6th of what I would need. At any rate, the first is Goodbye, by Plank Eye; it's a simple song that gives its simple message in a very heart-rending way. Next is Pretty Angry, by Blues Traveler; it was written for the brother of their lost bass player - I prefer to think of the anger as being directed inwardly at the grieving Christian himself who must live the double life of sorrowful loss and joyful expectation. The Meaning Of It All is another by Plank Eye, that has a great message that we never really know what it's all about until we go ask Him ourselves. Letter From A Friend, by Blues Traveler, is a reminder to those that remain that life must go on, and that's what our missing loved ones really want for us. They also want us to remember that they're in the presence of the most complete love possible in the universe, which is the message behind Who Loves You More, also by Plank Eye. Freefall, by Stavesacre, is an emotional conversation between a Christian understanding that the life we'll live later with God is so much more than what we have now. See You In Heaven, this version by Mercynary, is a loving farewell, imbued with reassurance that we will indeed see them again. The Supertones' Blood Washed Pilgrim is a victorious song about the conquering of death that has taken place for all those who love Christ and have walked his path like the pilgrim called Christian. Plank Eye's Wings To Fly puts in words to fervent desire to be where God is - which is something even Paul struggled with. Gold and Silver, by Stavesacre is an image of our ability to hide ourselves and our pain beneath God's mighty, protective wings. Guardian's See You In Heaven, reassures us that we will have a chance to "say I love you one more time." Lastly is Wither/Ascend, by Stavesacre; it tells a story of someone who loses his health and passes away, only to receive imperishable wings with which to fly, unhindered and free. This is the song whose lyrics I read at Nate's memorial service a year ago - still so powerful, they still bring me to tears.

The Brothers will never die

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