Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 2 Corinthians 5:6 KJV
Just a few weeks ago I spent part of an afternoon with my 92 year old friend Evelyn. Since her daughter and son-in-law had left that morning on the way to the Ark Encounter and her son wasn’t coming until late afternoon, she was spending most of the day alone. So I packed up my guitar, a bit of apple cake I had made the night before and came by to keep her company for a while. At first I mostly listened as Evelyn talked to me about growing up in the 1930’s-40’s and then about her late husband who had been in the church choir as well as tidbits of family history. Finally as she was winding down, I mentioned that I had my guitar out in the car and if she would like I would bring it in so I could sing her a few of her favorite hymns. “Oh I don’t think so.” she said firmly.
“Well then I’ll still need to bring it in.” I answered politely. “The heat in the car will damage the wood.” I explained.
“”Oh if you’re going to bring it inside anyway, then go ahead and play me a few songs.” Evelyn told me. “But I can’t sing.” she added as I headed out the door. So I came in with my instrument and began warming up with, “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.” She nodded and smiled but continued a silent audience, so I encouraged her by saying, “You know even if you don’t think you can sing anymore, God is listening to your heart singing. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks it sounds like.” Then, I continued with several other hymns, until finally I began the first verse of “How Great Thou Art.” My habit while I sing the chorus of that song, is to close my eyes and imagine God surrounded by mighty angels and crowds of worshipping saints. What a thrill went through me as I opened my eyes between verses and noticed Evelyn singing along, this time with both her heart and lips!
On Mother’s Day Evelyn had a fall in her home. She wasn’t injured in the fall but because she was too weak to stand she was taken to the hospital and then admitted to the ICU. Of course our small group prayed for her to recover and at first it looked like our dear friend was rallying, but it was not to be. God had made other plans than we had and on this past Saturday Evelyn stepped from her frail body here on earth into heaven. This morning at Panera’s where I meet with a small men’s prayer group, I leaned from her son-in-law, that the last song Evelyn heard was my simple recording of When We All Get To Heaven. I don’t mention this to make it seem something special but to encourage you not to underestimate the small and simple things that God gives you an opportunity to do for others. You will never know how much the cup of cold water you give some one is needed and how fleeting your opportunity to give it. Below is the YouTube session the song she loved. I will bet dollars to donuts she is singing better than ever with all her heart right now in the presence of the Lord who listens to every song.
Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can. John Wesley
6 thoughts on “When We Get to Heaven”
This is such a precious story. I love how you ministered to Evelyn shortly before she died without you even knowing what the near future held for her. My mother with Alzheimer’s responded to hymns and surprised us with her singing. Shortly before she died, she was mouthing a hymn. Thank you, Pete, for caring for those that we think may not respond as you use your gift of music to do so.
Thank you Patty. Your stories are a great encouragement also. You bless us by honesty about both your struggles and moments of victory.
Thank you, Pete. Isn’t it wonderful how we can all share the ups and downs of life, woven by God? Bless you!
I love reading about your simple visits. May God bless as you continue ministering for Him.
Music is such a special ministry. Your stories bring back memories and make me want to get involved again..
God has a wonderful way of placing opportunities in our path when we pray. Just go through the doors He opens one at a time.