Saturday, December 24, 2011


From my journal dated Feb. 8, 2008:

Last Sunday night after family home evening, I sat at the piano and played through the three hymns I have arranged.  I found myself wishing there was one more.  I even said out loud, "I want to arrange another hymn."  I started thumbing through the hymnbook but the thought of me just picking a hymn on my own was suddenly not good enough.  I closed the hymnbook with the thought, "I'll wait for the Lord to give me one."

No more sleeping on the recliner!  Although it seems to have helped me get over my cold quicker, I had Whiskers jumping up on me at one o’clock Monday morning.  I put her outside.  Apparently, Enos let her in around five, because, she was back up almost sitting on my head.  So much for sleep.  As I laid there, a hymn was playing in my mind.  It’s not one that I’m very familiar with.  In fact, it took me several minutes to work out in my mind the words to the first verse.  I had no clue about the other verses.  It kept going through my mind as I was wishing instead to be in dreamland, and then I remembered saying the previous night that I wanted to arrange another hymn.  I was a little confused at this one.  “Rejoice the Lord is King.”  I expected a comfort hymn, like “Be Still, My Soul”.  The purpose of arranging hymns right now is to help in my healing and to share with others when I make a music CD honoring Josh on the one year mark after his passing.  I went to the hymnbook after fixing breakfast and read the words.  Because the 3rd verse mentions “The keys of death and hell to Christ the Lord are given,” I decided maybe that was my comfort factor and I began arranging music with that verse in mind.  The music became addicting and I was planted at the piano much of Monday and Tuesday.  After I was comfortable playing up to speed what I had put together, I was hooked.  I played it again and again and then, just as I hit the chorus for the thirty-something time, singing in my mind, “Lift up your heart, lift up your voice, Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!”  I was told simply, “This is from Josh.”  I had to leave the piano and find the Kleenex box because my rejoicing caused quite the release of tears.  It was such a personal, sweet moment.  I realized this song was up to Josh’s speed and he does want us to lift up our hearts and rejoice.  Although this hymn hadn’t really meant anything to me before, I think it will be my favorite arrangement because I know it was Josh’s choice.

My birthday was Thursday.

When Enos, Cody & Nate came into the bedroom to wake me up to have me come see my birthday surprises, I was tucked snugly into a dream.  I'll try to describe it the best I can.  I walked into our home and there stood Josh just beyond the entryway.  I had an immediate understanding that this was a dream and it was a gift.  I approached Josh and as I got closer to him, his eyes dropped a little in shyness and after the slightest hesitation, he mirrored my opened arms and we gently embraced each other.  The next thing I remember is Josh was laying down on a bed and I was kneeling beside him.  I was running my fingers through his hair and talking to him softly, to help him relax so he could fall asleep (as I sometimes used to do).  He indulged me as I enjoyed the silky smoothness of his hair.  I also rubbed his back, feeling the smoothness and warmth of his skin.  I held his hand and started to sing.  I felt self-conscious as I knew I wasn't on pitch, but Josh started singing and pulled me back into tune.  Shortly after, Enos came into the room and walked around to the other side of the bed and was looking at me.  I was now holding both of Josh's hands and I looked up at Enos and asked him, "Can you see him?"  He didn't answer and I couldn't perceive what he was thinking but I didn't worry about it.  I looked back at Josh and didn't want to let go of his hands and I was grateful he was indulging me.  I again understood this was a dream and it was given to me as a gift.  Then my bedroom door really did open and Enos really did walk in along with Cody and Nathan.  I reluctantly left my dream and followed my boys into the kitchen to enjoy their gifts.  After I thanked them and gave them hugs, I told them about my dream.  Nathan pointed out that Josh gave me a birthday present too.

I tried to remember what song I sang to Josh in my dream.  It seemed to me it was simply the chorus to the hymn, "Lift up your heart, lift up your voice, Rejoice, again, I say rejoice!"  It really was a gift.  I hadn't even requested it in a prayer, but I've certainly offered prayers of gratitude.

After you click on the link below, the audio recording will open in another window, but you may return to this window to follow along with the lyrics.

Words by Charles Wesley, Music by Horatio Parker

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore!
Mortals, give thanks and sing and triumph evermore.
   Lift up your heart! Lift up your voice!
   Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
   Lift up your heart! Lift up your voice!
   Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

The Lord, the Savior, reigns, The God of truth and love.
When he had purged our stains, He took his seat above.

His kingdom cannot fail; He rules o’er earth and heav’n.
The keys of death and hell to Christ the Lord are giv’n.

No comments:

Post a Comment