Yesterday I sang a solo in church. It is one I have sung many times - Come Unto Him from Messiah. But this time was like no other.
I started singing church solos at age 14. I cannot even count how many - and my dad was my biggest fan. Always sitting a few rows back to my left. He always wanted to sit where he could see my mom and I next to each other in the choir loft. Mom and I sat in the choir loft of two churches for almost 40 years together. (The various directors somehow knew better than to try to separate us.)
When I am asked to sing, I do, because it is my offering. It is something I can do that sometimes touches people's hearts. There have been many times I wanted to quit because I didn't feel my voice was dependable or good enough. But even the times that I felt awful about my performance, someone would be moved by it. I'm not a professional, just an untrained soprano. It's a very humble offering, believe me.
I learned many years ago to never look at my dad while singing because there were often tears streaming down his face. Yesterday my dad was not sitting there and my mom was not either because of poor health. It didn't really hit me until I sat down after the song, and then I was overwhelmed with grief and loss and the confusion of change.
My dad was supportive and proud of everything I ever did. I know I am just now experiencing what so many of you already have in this life. I was more than blessed to have him here for his 91 years. Parents (and maybe siblings) are the only people you have known every day of your life so, even though I have lost friends and other relatives, this is much different.
I know my Dad is ok. I believe in heaven and this is what I believe:
Heaven is the place, the everlasting life, where we receive everything we yearned for here on earth. As human beings we spend our lives searching for unconditional love, for perfect peace, for unknowable joy and for release from the cares of this troubled world. This is the definition of heaven to me. All will be known. All will be understood. All will be the peace that passes understanding. It will be nothing like being here - where we are left to grieve and wonder and wait.