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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Heart-Filling Joy When Children Sing

Lessons Learned

The Sound Of Heaven

I sometimes wonder if the sound of Heaven will be children’s voices singing, because on earth, there is nothing more precious, more beautiful than this. Frequently, when I am accompanying our three hundred elementary aged students singing with all of their hearts in our weekly chapel, I close my eyes and feel overwhelmed by the power of their sweet yet unconstrained and glorious sound. Absolutely angelic. One year, with the sixth graders, we were working on creating motions to a contemporary Christian song which we were preparing as a part of a program for an upcoming trip to a retirement center. At last our work was finished, polished, and ready for sharing. One of our students’ moms heard that the song’s recording artist was to be in our hometown and on a whim, emailed him describing our project. He responded and wondered if he might stop in and watch them perform.  We gathered for an all-school assembly and began by singing many songs all together, filling the gym with huge, magnificent, all-in, raise-the-roof, beautiful song. He arrived in time to be blessed by this. As he unobtrusively stood in the gym doorway, he shut his eyes and sang along with the voices of the three hundred children. He watched the performance of his song. We thought he would quietly slip out after that to prepare for his own performance that evening. But no. He asked if he might share a word with the students. He spoke of love and gifts and music and blessing. He spoke of the importance of reaching beyond ourselves and sharing. He had the rapt attention of each student. The gym was silent, but for his voice and words. In closing, he asked if he might play a song for the students to sing with him, which they were more than thrilled to do. He played. They sang. He sang along for a while, but then he closed his eyes, kept playing, and just listened to the children as they filled the gym with their heavenly voices. He was blessed. They were blessed. Many are blessed…when children sing.