Saturday, August 7, 2010
Aundre Niles, "Our Loving Giant"
My nephew, Aundre (spelled with an accent over the "e"), just died two weeks ago. He survived Iraq only to come home to the US and be brutally killed in the inner city. He was just 22 years old but he touched so many lives. He always had a smile and a big hug for family and friends. Dre, as we called him, was also deep. He had deep waters running beneath the surface of his smile. It's interesting the different facets of one's life isn't it? Everyone sees a different facet. His mom saw different facets than his dad. His sister saw different facets than his best friend. Each aunt, each uncle, each cousin, each friend, his ex-wife, his infant son, his military commander, his neighbor, his co-workers, his classmates and yes, even his enemies, each saw different parts of what made Aundre - Aundre.
It's the first time I've lost someone so close to me. It's hard to believe he's gone. That I'll never get to have him engulf me in one of his bear hugs or bend his
6ft 2inch frame and put his head in my lap like a little kid or just listen to him call me "Auntie Bev." At least not in this life. However, I'm happy for Aundre because he's gone on to be with the Lord. In the final moments of his life, based on a series of events that occurred just prior and the amazing prayer we found tattooed on his back just 2 months ago, I believe, he found eternal peace and joy.
Aundre's estimated time of death was 3am on Sunday, July 25th, 2010. On Friday, July 23rd, his "grammy" Joan, while praying early that morning was encouraged by the Lord to pray for Aundre and she did so. On Saturday, July 24th I was awakened an hour earlier than normal to pray. When I asked the Lord who to pray for, he said Aundre and CJ, my other nephew. So I prayed for them. On Sunday morning between 3-4am, Aundre's mother was awakened to pray for Aundre. Though his death was violent, it wasn't instant. He had time to pray as well. His mom made a copy of the prayer that he had tattooed on his back and which I believe, revealed his heart:
"Please hear me. I need guidance to live life.
Sometimes the pressure is too hard to bear.
I often wonder if you care.
Please keep me as I face a new day,
knowing I must love my life.
This is crazy.
Forgive all my sins. Give me the strength to resist.
Help me escape temptations and the fire.
Please help my family whose eyes silently plead
for me not to do wrong and who pray for me.
Bless my mother.
Please answer my prayers
and let me know you're listening.
When will it all end? What is it all for?
I wonder how I will die,
by a bullet or by knife in my side?
Father, please hear me tonight.
Give my heart peace. Thank you for your forgiveness.
Most of all, thank You for hearing me." - Aundre
God heard his heart and answered his prayer.
You know something, death can bring forth life. My prayer is that Aundre's death brings life to many.
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world (you), that he sent his only begotten son (Jesus), that whosoever believes in him would not perish (die) but have everlasting life." Jesus died, so that you can live.