The Gift of Music

How far is heaven? Let’s go tonight
I want my daddy to hold me tight.

As Kitty Wells began singing these words I was sitting at my sewing machine working on a project when I was suddenly transported back over the years. I recalled vividly running into my mother’s arms after she told me that my daddy was dead. My eyes blurred with unshed tears as I recalled the pain of that moment.

How is a nine year only child supposed to process such information? I was daddy’s little girl and now daddy was gone…

God has given us a most precious and powerful gift. Music. A gift that teaches truth; a gift that brings joy and lifts the spirit; a gift that soothes our hurts; a gift that gives expression to our unspoken needs and wants. This precious gift allowed a nine year old girl process her father’s death.

A little girl was waiting for her daddy one day
It was time to meet him, when she heard her mommy say
Come to mommy darling, please do not cry
Daddy’s gone to heaven, way up in the sky

How far is heaven? When can I go?
To see my daddy, he’s there I know
How far is heaven? Let’s go tonight
I want my daddy to hold me tight

He was called so suddenly, and could not say goodbye
I know that he’s in heaven, we’ll meet him by and by
The little girl she trembled, her tears she could not hide
Then she looked towards heaven and I heard her cry

How far is heaven? When can I go?
To see my daddy, he’s there I know
How far is heaven? Let’s go tonight
I want my daddy to hold me tight

I sang that song almost constantly. I was too little at the time to understand the effect that my singing that song might have on my mother but never once did she ask me to stop. I would sit on the porch step and sing it; I would sing it as I rode in the car; I sang it sitting on a tree branch in the side yard. Every time I needed comfort I sang it.

In recent days I have been reminded of the power of music to evoke memories and to soothe the pains and disappointments of life. But I have also been reminded of how music can tap the into the joy that undergirds it all.

“Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Last week while sitting at a country music concert I was able to experience the joy of my childhood. Thank you, Lord, for music and all that it gives us.

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