I hesitate to write this letter. First, since you went to be with Jesus January 8th, I don’t know for sure you can read it—or even if you’d want to because of the glory of Who captivates your attention now. Second, I don’t know how many who read this even know of you. So, how can they relate? And, third, what I write may sound too sweetly sentimental. Oh well, here goes . . .
I was strangely sad to read last month about your death. Back in the 70’s and 80’s I enjoyed your music often. I was a young pastor then, and you were part of my formative pastor-years. Then I kind of lost track of you. Maybe it was because I didn’t like nearly as much what your later music evolved into from your earlier days with the Disciples. Anyway, your death drove me to my computer to read details, and then to listen to some Youtube recordings.
And finally to buy some of your CD’s. (I confess: I never bought any before.) Lois and I listen to them over and over. How they lift our spirits! Your music fills our home and hearts. I know your style isn’t for everyone. (What’s wrong with people?) But we love it. Makes me wish I was black. No matter how I try, this white boy can’t sound anything like you! It’s a reminder that it takes the varied music of God’s ransomed people from every tribe and language and people and nation to begin to give you the highest praise! (In heaven the “worship wars” will be over! We’ll be singing every kind of worship music then!)
I’m writing this to tell you (better late than never) how the Lord has blessed me through you and your music. (I’m listening to it now and can hardly sit still.) Probably we have minor doctrinal differences. But the worship of “My Tribute” (“To God Be the Glory”) and the truth of “Through It All” and the anticipation of “Just Like He Said He Would (He’s Coming Back for Me)” swallow up those minor differences with major joy. The words you composed, the chords you played, the harmonies you wrote continue to touch my soul and turn me again and again to rejoice in the Christ who gave himself in love so we might have life to the full.
Thank you, Father, for the eternity of music that awaits us! Thank you, Holy Spirit, for gifting this man to encourage us and to move our hearts to sing for joy to you. And thank you, Andrae, for faithfully serving us for Jesus’ sake with those gifts.
Your brother in Christ who can’t wait to hear your music again in heaven,
I have a reason for writing this letter besides honoring Andrae. We all have people in our lives whom the Lord has used to show us his love. It may be a well-known Christian musician. Or it may be our mostly-unknown wife or husband. Maybe a Christian friend or neighbor. Why not encourage him or her by telling that person now how the Lord has blessed you through him or her and how you thank the Lord for him or her? Years pass without our recognizing God’s gifts in the lives of the people he’s given us! This is a good time to change that!