Remembering Jordan Gautreau: The Hard Place
Jordan died on Sunday morning and no one that I've talked to, who was close to him, has been able to sleep without falling there while thinking about him, waking up thinking about him, awaking to the thought that Jordan is dead. It is very hard to know.
Sadness settles like a fog cloud on the lawn. I can't imagine going through these times without Jesus walking the lawn right beside me. He reaches over and wipes my tears, laughs with me at a joke, sings loudly with me in the van and comforts me when I remember that someone so dear is gone from this earth.
I first met Jordan in a picture. I was visiting my friend Vicki, her daughter Tori had gone to homecoming with Jordan, I was looking at the picture of them two together and marveling at the fact that Vicki and Dan's little girl was old enough to go on a date to homecoming. Vicki told me that they were not officially dating but they liked each other. The rest is their history.
Then Jordan came on Midnight Outreach three years ago and that was when I knew he was special. I knew he loved the hard places of the world.
As a member of the worship team at the Baton Rouge Dream Center, there was nothing more encouraging then looking over to the left side of the stage and seeing Jordan dancing, praising, smiling, acting as if this was the best worship service he had ever been a part of. Every Sunday. And he was a part of it, 100%. He led worship. His dancing, his joy, so close to the stage up front, was leading others way more then we were. Last Sunday, I could hear Danny Fierra behind me on stage, while beautifully playing acoustic guitar, sniffling, crying. He said later that it was because Jordan was not over there anymore and, out of habit, he kept looking for him there.
It still doesn't seem real. Even as I'm typing it. I know his family, close friends, Tori, they all loved him more, but I still cant shake the grief. I feel I have no right to such pain. But then I think of who he was to my family, and to my church family. He was good. He really was. I mean, when I heard that HPC Highland rd had pulled him back to their campus to work instead of the Dream Center during the week, my first words were "yea, cuz he's a great worker! Jordan is a servant and he has a great attitude all the time". Even after going back to Highland to work during the week, he came to the BRDC on Sunday and he would work hard, always happy, always encouraging, never complaining. That is huge in this world. Huge. And the DC is a hard place, it's not easy. We have the homeless, prostitutes, drug dealers, pimps, drug addicts, thieves, etc, Jordan loved them all. He never acted like he was better then anyone, he just loved as Jesus does. I'm not exaggerating, ask Mrs, Geraldine, she will tell you, he kissed her on the cheek every Sunday and told her how special she was, or he would gently correct Monica, who had a bad attitude while serving sometime, he would say "watch your attitude" while showing her how by his actions and way of treating people. He loved, even when it needed to be tough love.
I know that when Twilight, Breaking Dawn the movie, comes out it will once again remind us all of the hole Jordan left in the world. My Evangeline and Esther Robert, loved to talk Twilight with Jordan. He loved the books and was a fan of the movies. Last year when Eclipse premiered we had planned to all go together to the Midnight movie but we couldn't work it out. This year, E, Esther and I will go to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn in honor of Jordan.
This family hurts. HPC is not just my church family, they are family, period. Jordan was family. He rejoiced with us when Abel came home from Ethiopia. He played with my boys every Sunday, he talked Twilight with Evangeline, took security detail orders from Dean on Sundays, and endured my mother-hen talks to him about his love life and why he should not buy clothes from Guess or Giorgio (sweat shops and slave labor make them) and mostly Jordan served with us in the hard place that is the inner city. He loved the Dream Center as we do and that shared love bonded us all together. There are only a few that really love the hard places, and the people that live in the hard places, he did. He was a soft place for many in a hard world.
See also, Monday's post, Remembering Jordan Gautreau