The wind starts somewhere in the coldest part of Canada, gathers force over vast Lake Superior, blows across the Upper Peninsula, sweeps down the length of Lake Michigan creating snow and spreads it across the lower third of the state.
On the leading edge of that snow band is a city with a musical name—Kalamazoo. It is there that my little brother serves as the Minister of Music and Fine Arts at Northeastern Baptist Church. His name is Nathan. Nathan is the baby of the family. I’m not allowed to say he is the favorite, but Mom and Dad really do love him special and for good reason. He deeply cherishes them, too. Mom and Dad would give anything to Nathan. He would give anything for them. It is as beautiful a relationship as I have ever seen between parents and a son. Mom and dad are extremely grateful to God and proud of him and of his beautiful family.
Sunday night was Nathan’s big Christmas deal, full choir—everyone in their finest. Mom and Dad were planning to attend if the weather allowed them to. Sunday afternoon they checked the weather and started out. Snow began to fall. They don’t drive fast. With the snow falling they slowed down even more, but made their way determinately on.
Nathan has my father’s tender heart and love of truth. He has my mother’s devotion to Christ and love of music. Add to that thousands of dollars worth of piano lessons, many thousands more for a music degree and many, many hours of piano practice, patient parenting, exemplary older siblings, the grace of God, and you have one powerful, musical, pastor. He is a gift to the church and a delight to my parents.
They arrived safely at the church just in time for the service. The church is a thriving church and it was full for the evening. They wondered if there would be a place to sit, but they didn’t need to worry. As they made their way into the church they were greeted warmly by the people and shown to the best seats in the church reserved just for them, so they wouldn’t miss a thing.
When I think about my Mother and Dad basking in the warmth of their son’s music—the very product of their own love and gifts and convictions—and when I think of them listening to their grandchildren singing in the choir from their special reserved seats, my heart is flooded with joy even though I wasn’t there to see it.
After the program many of the church people told them how much they loved Nathan and his family. They drove back through the night home. When they visit Evangel I am going to see to it they get good seats—after all they have done for me, it’s the least I can do.
December 8, 2008