Mat 25:23 ESV – His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
I found out this morning that my best friend’s father-in-law passed away last night. I didn’t know Henry very well. I had met him a few times in passing, and back in 2005, he invited me along with his whole family on a 3-day cruise to Ensenada. During the few times I spent with him, and from what his kids have shared, I know a few things about Henry Anadon:
- He was a talented musician. Although, from what I hear, “talented” is too tame a word. “Magical” is probably better. I experienced Henry’s musical talent in church one time, but I know others who have had the privileged to be overwhelmed on many occasions. He wasn’t a musician; he was a leader of men and women into worship of the Most Holy King.
- He was a good father. I say this because I had a chance to meet all of his kids on that cruise, and what was interesting amazing is that all of his kids love him. This is a man who has a large family. I don’t even remember how many kids were technically “his” and how many married in, but I know it was a boat load of people! (Not literally. I mean, there were a lot of us, but it wasn’t ONLY us on the cruise…) It’s rare in this day and age to have such a large family with such a large spread of ages (~20 years) and actually be in harmony with one another. It was mind-boggling actually. He wasn’t just a father; he was the kind of man the movie “Courageous” was modeled after.
- He was an emissary of grace. What do I mean? I don’t know his life story, but I can assure you it wasn’t all music and good fathering. He had triumphs and failures; good times and bad. Henry wasn’t a superman; he was a man. He made mistakes, just like all of us, and I’m sure that some of them were painful and destructive. But Henry knew something that not everyone knows: Jesus saves those of us who don’t deserve it. His music was a tribute to a King who accepted a man who had failed. His fatherhood was to glorify a God who had adopted and parented a broken boy. Henry brought this idea of grace, God’s unearned favor, to people who met him, heard him play, and lived under his roof. He was a messenger, an emissary, of our God’s grace.
Like I mentioned, I didn’t know Henry very well, but I’ve seen his legacy, and grace is written all over it. Today, the world is a little less musical. Today, there are some amazing people that are grieving their father. Today, the world lost a man who lived his life telling others about the grace of Jesus Christ. We are worse off now than we were before the cancer hit.
But Henry isn’t. Yes, he dealt with pain. He fought his way through some of the misery of this broken world. While a cynic might think he’s “no longer in pain,” they would be missing the penultimate purpose of Henry’s life. He lived to show his kids the grace that Jesus Christ saves the un-savable. He played music so that the world would hear that God loves them and wants them to come to Him. Henry lived his life to tell people that God is real, and that He loves. So, is his pain gone? Yes. But it’s much more than just the alleviation of pain.
Henry took his last breath here and subsequently took his first breath in the presence of Jesus. This is not a myth; it’s his reality. The person he looked to throughout his life, in good times and bad, while practicing alone or playing in front of a crowd, is now staring into his eyes. Life in heaven isn’t floating around on clouds playing a harp; it’s living life to the fullest. Henry used his life to point people to God. The talents that he was given for his time here on Earth were used for God, so when he woke up and looked into His Jesus’ eyes, he heard, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think that Henry is leading worship in heaven right now. He’s playing to his heart’s content and showing other, less musically-inclined souls a better way to worship the God of grace. What he did while he was on Earth was only the beginning. If you are part of Henry’s family, then please know that I’m sorry for your loss, and I am praying for God’s comfort for you. Don’t forget what he lived for, and if we really listened to what Henry was trying to tell us, in word and in music, then we will see him again. And it will be a glorious day! All because of God’s grace.
In memory of Henry Anadon. Musician, Father, Emissary of Grace.