I apologize for waxing philosophical today, but I haven’t been able to get yesterday’s Catch about the singing nurse out of my mind, especially that lady who commented on how 24 hours of his singing might make her well, but then she would have to leave the hospital and not hear him anymore. She would rather stay in the hospital and hear him sing than to be well and not be able to be comforted anymore by his voice.
I wrote the rest of the Catch about how God meeting us in our pain makes the pain worthwhile as in: the treatment is worth the disease. But it may be bigger than that. This woman’s comment just may be big enough to at least give some sense to the whole matter of our human existence.
Consider the age-old question: Why did God create the world and let sin and suffering into it? Could it be that He could say something in our comfort and redemption that He couldn’t say any other way?
Think of the host of angelic voices that pierced the darkness of night to announce the birth of a suffering savior. How can you appreciate light if you have never known the fear of darkness? How can you appreciate love if you have never known the absence of it? How can you know what it is to be found if you have never been lost? How can you know mercy if you have never needed it?
I could fill up a few Catches with statements such as these, but nothing says it better than the nineteenth century hymn lyrics of Johnson Oatman, Jr. who wrote:
There is singing up in Heaven such as we have never known,
Where the angels sing the praises of the Lamb upon the throne,
Their sweet harps are ever tuneful, and their voices always clear,
O that we might be more like them while we serve the Master here!
But I hear another anthem, blending voices clear and strong,
“Unto Him Who hath redeemed us and hath bought us,” is the song;
We have come through tribulation to this land so fair and bright,
In the fountain freely flowing He hath made our garments white.
Holy, holy, is what the angels sing,
And I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring;
But when I sing redemption’s story, they will fold their wings,
For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings.
“Singing nurse” is only the half of it. Heaven is going to be full of singing sinners, and I plan to be belting out my part.