Monday, October 12, 2009


I am not entirely satisfied with my music playlist. I love old hymns--so did my brother. Not to listen to in his truck or buy on a cd, but when he joined us at church. Bryan had a deep baritone voice that sounded so lovely extended in worship. It brought me to tears many times. Especially at Christmas. I will not hear that voice I loved so dear again this side of Heaven. But I assuage myself by listening to hymns.
I am not sure if I ever sang along with these specific ones with him, but they are two of my favorites. He was funny--so thoroughly modern and metropolitan yet Bryan preferred tradition at church, old songs and simple programs. No bells and whistles for him. At the end of his life, he spent a stint in a Christ-based rehab. One of the few things he could say positive things about at the worshipping with all the other men.
Right now, it makes me smile to think of him using his beautiful voice to worship the Lamb of God perfectly in Heaven. Another thing he liked about the place we sent him was the Proverbs Pit. Bryan read a Proverb every morning and then he would scribble his sin or weaknesses or the lies he had been listening to on a scrap of paper to be burned in that pit. He didn't like that place I picked out for him. He vented and complained and left the first chance he had. But while he was there, his eyes were clear and his mind was focused and I saw my brother read God's Word and heard him pray and listened to him sing.
So even though Bryan is just another statistic, one of the many who fall off the wagon and return to their addictions, I am grateful for those few months when alcohol wasn't doing his thinking or speaking for him. I heard my brother's true, beautiful voice. I am so thankful for the gift of those weeks follwoing his departure from rehab when he lived with my parents and came over every morning to serve and love on me and my kids. Bryan sang worship songs, and read the Bible and prayed. He shared with me what kind of man he wanted to become. Bryan shared his heart with me. Oh, if I could turn back time and just SIT and listen, instead of scurrying around trying to accomplish whatever thing I thought was more important than those still moments with my brother. Even so, those mornings are the dearest and most precious memories I possess. They are prized treasures.
If I could, I would have posted Fernando Ortega's version of How Deep the Father's Love for Us and Newsboys' In Christ Alone. But these will do. The lyrics to hymns are what makes them special--they surpass the simple repetitive choruses that stick in your mind. Listen to them. Their words are meaty and true and they stick to your bones, to your soul. Enjoy! I will, as I picture my brother belting them out in spirit and in truth before the Prince of Peace. In perfect peace. In that deep baritone voice I miss so much.
Postscript: As I was writing this, my dear and precious friend began her journey of grief. Her beloved sister was welcomed "safely home" in Jesus' arms at 2:30 this afternoon. Marilyn and Bryan may be singing together! If you are reading this and are a pray-er, please lift this sweet family up--Marilyn left a large and loving family behind--and four small children.

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WARNING! Tissues Required-Video Slideshow of Bryan's Life-Sorry the music was muted!