For those of you who don’t already know, we lost a dear friend and brother this week. Nathan Taylor was fishing in freezing temperatures on a lake in Oregon, when his boat began to fill with water. After the boat sank, he tried swimming to shore, but was unable to remove his heavy clothing, and didn’t make it. He is survived by his wife of two years, Lauren, his son of three months, Jack, his mom, Pamella, his dad, Tim, his stepmom, JoDana, his brothers, Jeremy and Tim, his sisters, Charlotte and Sabrina and all of us who had the honor of knowing and loving this remarkable young man. Please pray for these beloved people, as their shock and grief is unimaginable right now.
I grew up with Nathan, as our families were very close. We spent holidays together, took trips together and off and on, through my growing up years, we even lived in the same house. I remember when I was about thirteen and Nathan was about two, we were all in the same house, trying hard to get everyone out the door to get somewhere. With so many bodies and so many little kids, it was not an easy thing to do. I remember Nathan, walking around in his socks, holding one shoe in his hand, “looking” for his other shoe. As he wandered slowly and aimlessly around a house full of busy, frantic and even angry people, he kept a gentle smile on his face. I was thirteen and didn’t have the cares that the adults had of getting us to wherever we were supposed to be and I remember watching him with great amusement. Everyone cared so much about that silly shoe and he was trying, in his two-year old, Nathan way to care too. He kept that same gentle smile on his face throughout his life. Every time I was ever around him, he seemed to have a peace about him that most people spend their whole lives trying to find. In fact, I remember somebody saying about him when he was two years old, that you could tell exactly what Nathan was going to be like as a man. He had such character.
A few years ago, after traveling the world, climbing mountains, swimming oceans and walking many miles through many countries, he married his sweet love, Lauren. I’ve never been at such a beautiful wedding as theirs was. Their deep, pure, young love for one another was evident in every word that was said, every look that was given, every touch, every tear, every kiss. Their faith was so beautiful as they dedicated their love for one another to the One who gave all for them because of love. Their love for Jesus was contagious.
Nathan, I will miss you. You have been a part of my life that could never be replaced and the hole right now feels huge. I don’t understand why your days were numbered so. I don’t understand why you have flown to the arms of our dear savior while the rest of us are left to travel this sod. I want to cry out, “How long, oh Lord? How much longer will you tarry?” I don’t understand so much. I’m sorry that I never got to know you as a father. I praise God for the son you left behind and I pray he is a source of comfort and joy to his mother. I will meet him this weekend as I travel to Oregon to say goodbye to you. Right now, my eyes are filled with pain as I look forward to that trip.
Goodbye, gentle brother. I’ll see you at home.