Jordan Blake Watts *** 1993-2013
Jordan professed his faith in Christ as a young child. Later, at age 14, he committed his life to becoming a global missionary to tell people the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus – he would, in essence tell us, “Give me a backpack, a bible, and drop me off on the coast of Europe.”
He was a young “hippie”, sleeping in a hammock he’d strung up across his bedroom and turning his lights on and off with “the clapper” (a product originally sold in the 70’s) he was able to find online.
Jordan was a creative, artistic soul. Creativity was like oxygen to him – not creating was akin to not breathing. In short, expressing himself through the arts was life.
He was a sculptor, a painter, a singer/song-writer, and an entrepreneur. In addition to playing the drums in his band, “Don’t Wake the Bear,” he was also proficient in playing the piano, guitar, banjo, ukulele, & cello. He won numerous awards for his paintings & drawings, two of which were displayed in New York City and Washington D.C. During one sermon series on “The Beatitudes” (Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:1-11), Jordan was asked to create one painting each week based on that week’s topic. When the preacher came to the verse, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy,” Jordan presented the painting you see below. (He also created the self-portrait at the top of this page.)
Jordan was a kind and compassionate soul. He would give anyone the proverbial “shirt off his back.” Possessing the “golden retriever” personality, Jordan absorbed the emotion of everyone around him.
He felt deeply. He loved deeply. He expressed this in his art. For example, immediately below is one of my favorite art projects he created while still in high school. He called it, simply, “Home Sweet Home,” and depicts how, due to our ridiculously busy lives, we don’t (or refuse to) see the hurt and need that’s literally right before us. The “business man” (complete with hat, briefcase & cell phone), made from paper mache’, sits on a park bench with a homeless man sleeping only a couple of feet away. Jordan even knitted the “Home Sweet Home” sign hanging next to the homeless man as well as the man’s toboggan.
Jordan was hysterically funny, able to imitate just about anyone. He loved to laugh – although his wit was bone dry.
Jordan loved all things Narnia & Lord of the Rings
He simply loved adventure. A fan of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Jordan and a group of guys used our basement for band rehearsal and Bible studies. Jordan came to affectionately name our basement, “The Shire.” 🙂
During high school (2009), Jordan was diagnosed with clinical depression (I was diagnosed in 1999.) After getting medical attention and professional counseling, he was doing extremely well, as you can see by watching the video clip below where he shares about his journey with depression.
But, in early May, 2013, he shared he wasn’t feeling “right” so we immediately got him the medical attention and care he needed. On May 12th, he seemed a little “off”, but he assured us there was no concern.
The next day, May 13th, he took his life.
When people ask what happened, the only way I know how to answer is, “Jordan’s brain broke.”
Jordan, however, suffers no more.
Jesus told a grieving Martha,
Jesus told the dying thief,
Jordan loved C.S. Lewis. Lewis, the former atheist, Oxford scholar, and author of The Chronicles of Narnia – once noted,
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance; and if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it can never be is moderately important.”
For Jordan, his faith in Christ was “of infinite importance.”
I know Jordan would want that for you, as well.
For Narnia, Nick