Lee Martin

Nate was to me a beloved brother in Christ, a seminary professor, a parishioner full of grace and truth, a friend.
Nate brought Scripture to life. I specifically recall times of meeting God anew as Nate spoke on Mt. 11:28-30 (Come to me, all you who are weary …), Ps. 42 (thirsting for God), and Ps. 139 (You have searched me, Lord, and you know me).
Nate was wise. He seemed to know just when to be silent and listen, just when to speak, and just what words to use when he spoke.
Nate was vulnerable. I recall him, my seminary professor, being vulnerable with me about realities in his life, which left me wondering, “Who am I to hear such truth from him?”
Nate spoke truth even if it was uncomfortable. Once he spoke to me about a situation in our congregation, Mt. Clinton Mennonite, and though he was not accusatory, it became clear to me that I could have handled that situation better than I did.
When Nate was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he entrusted himself anew to God’s care and grace, as he had throughout his life. He requested a service of anointing as an act of faith and trust in God’s perfect will, not as a demand for his own will to be done. In my own journey with cancer, his model in responding to illness and increasing physical limitations mentor me along the way, though my path is different than his.
Nate was a faithful and loving son, husband, father and grandfather. In the midst of his demanding work as a pastor and professor, it seems clear that family was not sacrificed on the altar of work demands.
I am a better person, a better follower of Christ, because of Nate, a friend and brother full of the grace and truth of Christ. Thank you, God, for the gift of Nate.