We were just stalling for time; waiting for a choir to come, waiting for the rest of our residents to join us. We had just talked about the beginning of the nativity story. A young girl, an angel, a scared husband-to-be. And so, while we waited, we sang. Angels We Have Heard on High. O Come, All Ye Faithful. O, Holy Night.
My piano was situated with my back to the pews. I didn’t see them coming. They entered the back of the chapel, tip toeing in step, ushering a sound so full and beautiful. Pitches and timbres wrapped around my students' voices, filling the air with not just a joyful noise, but a lovely sound.
My students sing with joy, and it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful because of their hearts, their passion, their love of music. But that beauty can’t be heard on a recording.
But in this moment, I heard how my students will sing in heaven. On earth the sounds that come out of their mouths do not match the sounds that are in them. But, this beautiful choir singing for them – being their voice – there was a truth.
Have you seen those double pictures on Facebook? First there’s the perfect version. This is what I think I look like when I’m _______. Then there’s the reality version that is not so flattering. This is what I really look like.
And we do all live in the second realm. No matter how many times we brush our teeth, we all wake up with morning breath. No matter how talented, sophisticated, strong, or handsome we think we are – in reality we are broken, damaged, hurting and weak.
But that’s what heaven is for. Heaven is a place where our hearts will be rich. Our minds will be clear. Our bodies will be whole. Our spirits will be complete. Our voices will be what they’re meant to sound like…
And it all has something to do with a young girl, an angel, and a scared husband-to-be.