Saturday, June 24, 2006

One of the photographs in my "BJ collection" was taken a number of years ago at Mom's 70th birthday party. In that photo Deanna is playing the piano, Lauren is standing with face raised, eyes closed singing praise and Whitney is standing behind Beej also singing. BJ is sitting playing his old cello, the same one that Brent and our sister Lisa had learned to play on many years ago. I think it is one of two pictures I have of BJ with the cello.

Fast forward to this past October, returning from the forementioned trip to Lousiana for hurricane relief work. During our return trip one of the men in the van (Rusty) , a friend of Mercy Me lead singer Bart Millard received a text message about a song the Lord was laying on his heart because of BJ. They messaged back and forth and I was able to read what was to become the chorus to "I would Die for You." Rusty mentioned to him that to accurately portray BJ the song had to directly point others toward Christ. Bart's response was "don't worry."

For about 2 months I carried this secret from Brent and Deanna, one I longed to share with them because I knew it would give them an emotional lift during the difficult first weeks after BJ's death, a time when I rarely felt I had anything to offer them. So many times it was on the tip of my tongue but this wasn't my gift to give.

Finally, one evening after a visit with Rusty's family Brent and Deanna stopped by with a preliminary copy of "Die for You." I could only weep as I listened. Bart and Mercy Me had represented BJ beautifully and the song is all about finding our purpose only in serving Christ.

After several more months past and Brent received a finished copy of the song with orchestration added in London, we received a further blessing that I know Brent has mentioned. That beautiful musical tag at the end of the vocal, stirring and haunting in a way, fades out to conclude this wonderful gift of a song that means so much to our family - and hopefully will to thousands of others - all the while pointing them toward Christ. That tag consists of the violin and cello - BJ's instrument of choice. Did they have any idea he played the cello? No. It's just a "God thing" that to us is just as representative of our son, grandson, nephew, and friend as the inspired words that precede it.

As followers of Christ we have a story to share that should burn in our hearts and on our tongues, longing to be shared; the love of our risen Lord who brings light to a dark, fallen world. More than anything we should want to share this incredible truth that is too big to keep secret. The Creator of the universe loves us so much that He sent his Son to die specifically and individually for each one of us, so that we can have hope and assurance of eternity with Him in a place far more beautiful, far less painful than the world we know.

Lord thank you for your sacrifice on our behalf. Thank you too for the men and women who have given so much of themselves, even their lives, in wars in places and times far worse than anything we can comprehend in our secure lives. Just as real but sometimes harder to comprehend are the spiritual battles that must be fought for the hearts and souls of people all over the world - thank you for those who are willing to step up and sacrifice themselves in these battles as well, facing very real threats that at times can cost them their lives as well. In Jesus name, Amen.

In Him,

brad

8 Comments:

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MercyMe's "Die For You" brings me to chills everytime I listen to it. It renews my vow to be more like BJ --- sharing Jesus to everyone and anyone without reservation and knowing, really knowing, I could die for my King. Thank you for sharing. My prayers are with the HIggins family -- for peace knowing their doing exactly what the Lord and what BJ led them to do --- for safety in the midst of the unknown --- for stength to endure the challenges in sharing the Lord with those who would otherwise not even know His name --- and for good health and renewed hearts upon return from their calling.

 
At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

Thank you Brad for such a stirring and emotional and awesome blog today. Isn't it amazing how the "little" things that God does for us are so awesome and shows us how much He truly loves us and knows and understands our pain. He is truly and AWESOME GOD!

May God bless everyone out on the mission field, and guide their steps, protect them and use them mightly. And bring them all home safely, after doing Your Will only!

May our hearts truly live and speak the words "I would die for YOU" every moment of every day. In Jesus' precious name--Amen!

Linda Anderson

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks Brad
Big John

 
At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the cello and thought it must have been purposeful. What an amazing gift from God - small, perhaps, but oh, so meaningful!

Anne B.

 
At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Hi all.

Brad, I absolutely LOVE the song written in BJ's memory/honor. I didn't even know him personally, but from everythin I have gleaned from his writings so graciously shared with this blog family, it seems to suit him perfectly.

An update on my friend's brother-in-law, Ty and his wife,Theresa. Last I heard, he was slipping and not doing well. He had a stroke and his left side didn't respond to stimuli. He has a blood clot in one of the main 4 arteries. Not sure yet what they are going to do about that. Theresa is struggling to remain positive and optimistic and is experiencing the ups and downs that the Higgins family knows so well. Please continue to keep all of them in your prayers.

We are leaving for a visit to Washington D.C. and won't be able to check email so I"ll have to give an update when I get back.

Blessings on all of you. Thank you all so much for your support and prayers, it has been very encouraging to my friend and to me.

God, continue to watch over, protect and keep healthy all who are on the mission trip. Guide them in the way they should go.

Amen. Tina

 
At 5:58 AM, Blogger Kate said...

Your blog is very interesting, I found it when looking for ky adult single related sites.
Regards, Kate.

 
At 7:27 AM, Blogger PeteAce said...

Mercy Me, did a great job with that song. My wife still crys every time we listen to that song. Knowing the background you shared Brad was a great gift to all who read your post. And when you think about it, this whole thing, BJ, his family, AweStar, the mission trips, connections to Mercy Me, they are all, God Things. WHICH means that every time we read this post, or write or share this story, we're all part of this God Thing. What an adventure! Today, it's time to go out on another one. My prayer is that we all seeking servants ready for the next Divine Appointment so we can experience another, God Thing.
Strength & Honor,
Pete

 
At 1:35 PM, Anonymous cousin becky said...

Brad,

I can imagine how hard it was not to tell Brent and Deanna and the girls about Mercy Me's song.

Your reference to your "BJ Photo Collection" reminded me of a recent discovery I made. While searching through a box of photos, I ran across one that must have been taken in the summer of 1998. I happened to be back from Russia at the time and counting Marion as my headquarters for a while. Aunt Maralyn, Marla, and Landee had come to visit and several of us were hanging out in their hotel room. It was your mom, Brent's family, Marla and Landee, you and me. Evidently we decided to capture on film the occasion of our all being together. Aunt Maralyn must have taken the photo since she wasn't in it. All of us are looking at the camera--all of us, that is, except BJ. Just as the shutter was released, BJ, who was sitting on Deanna's lap, turned to his mother and kissed her on the cheek. What a precious depiction of BJ's spontaneity in expressing his affection! May the memory of those spontaneous moments be a gentle kiss to the hearts of those whom BJ loved.

I continue to keep Brent's family and the team in my prayers. May God daily supply their every need physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Love,
Becky

 

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