By Ann B. The reason I am writing is to confirm the authenticity of Betty's experience [hearing of heavenly music at a prayer meeting], though you don’t need my confirmation. But my heart is rejoicing, so I will tell you of it!
One night, almost twenty years ago, I was pool nurse assigned to a hospital ward I had not worked on before. They gave me a patient who was in the process of dying, a process that had taken a long time. Her belongings indicated she was a Christian but no one visited her. She was barely conscious but slightly aware of my presence. I asked God to allow her to die on my shift so she would have a prayer companion and did my best to make her comfortable. Out at the desk, the joke was I was the one who would be "stuck" going to the morgue, a not very pleasant task. I made loud joking comments that I didn't want to go down to the basement morgue in a strange hospital, etc., even as I inwardly begged God to let this woman, an elderly black woman named Mary, to die with a Christian near her. My other patients were not difficult so she was my main concern.
By the grace of God, my midnight relief nurse came early, and I gave her report very early and then we both went in and cared for the dying woman. I had called her family and they had just arrived. She died. Her family wept with both of us there. Because I had already given report, the night nurse said she would take the body to the morgue if I would just ready it. This was an honor. This left me with the two young nurse aids who had cared for this woman for months. I could talk to them and even console them. They were grieving. We talked about heaven and saints, and God's love and good death.
As I walked out of that hospital, I felt I was floating in God's presence. I spent a long time praying in the car before I went home. I was singing in tongues and the experience was entirely different. I was singing alto! I am an alto but have never had the knack to sing harmony to the soprano melody. I could that night and I am going to be able in heaven. I heard a melody and I knew to sing a harmony and it was beautiful. I felt that the beautiful starry night had opened up to heaven and somehow I almost heard the music my sister, who was before Jesus, was hearing. Though I cannot, twenty years later, describe the interludes and choral arrangement as Betty T. does now, I know I could then. She has heard that same music! It was clear music, music that if I had enough musical knowledge I could write down. Though Betty may regret not sharing at the meeting, I thank her for doing her job of listening to that music because that was far more important! The Language of God upon her overwhelmed her.
I hope you can follow what I am going to say, Phil. It is a little loose but I think it is important. There is a reason God lets us sing together, and sing in tongues! Music is the language of heaven. Music relates to the mathematics of sound vibration. We are a science and math family and we like to say math is God's language. We like the t-shirt that says, "Then God spoke and said, "E=mc2". The forces of creation are mathematical. Mathematics describes and determines not just chemical and physical reaction, but even growth of plants and cells.
Steve and Joanna [husband & daughter] build wind chimes tuned to famous music chords (like Moonlight Sonata) by figuring out the mathematics of music and metal vibration. Math takes the left brain tools of hard metal and drill press and saw and combines it with the right brain impulse of wanting to hear the chords of a favorite song gently sound on the night breeze. It is math, Steve and Joanna’s shared language and the language of God, which pulls together engineering and manufacturing of items. In the same way, music often pulls together the art of a film or stage, which is sound and light. Excellent writing or speaking has a musical quality. Color, the vibration of light, follows strict mathematical and almost musical rules and is an essential part of the visual arts. When we are singing in tongues, God is literally working creativity within us. When we meditate on Him and see His visions, He is speaking that language to us that makes clarity between impulse and tool.
The Holy Spirit is within all creativity and all the forces of creation. Some of us are all impulse and desire and need to connect with the tools God wants us to have. Some of us are all tools and skill but need passion and focus. Many of us are stuck doing things just to do them; using the same tools over and over in the same old way. We need to consider His way. God is training and disciplining others to do His will properly; molding them in His image. Some follow their own passions and own interests and almost seem to declare their own will holy. Yet it is the foolish and the little ones in the eyes of the world that often hear His Voice and know His will. The Holy Spirit wants to do something NEW. He wants us to do HIS WILL. He wants our attentiveness. What a grace to sing in tongues. What a grace to listen to Him.
I heard the music of heaven because I had the practical skills to help a woman die. By the grace of God, I had the opportunity to attend to her and be with what He was doing with her. This touched me so deeply that I will never forget it. I have not had many opportunities in nursing since, and I might not work in that capacity again. If God caused me to learn nursing just to ready me for the day that I might hear that music again, it was worth all the work! Steve and Joanna created a wind chime with their knowledge of metal and music. A foolish silly thing to do perhaps but it clinks in the backyard. It touched my daughter so much that I think it may define her career as an engineer. May God use that career to His glory.
We must attend to what God is doing that we may learn to do His will. The kingdom of heaven is all around us. It is as real as the chimes hanging in my yard, or a body that needs washing and wrapping for the morgue, or the colors of a spring flower. Who knows but today we will have an experience thrust on us that calls us to attention on God, what He wills, what He does. When I called a nursing agency for a chance to earn a little money, I did not expect to hear heaven! When Joanna started to work on a wind chime, she did not know God was pulling together a passion for music and math into a career as an engineer. Betty did not know as she prayed in tongues at what must be her two thousandth prayer meeting, that she would hear the harmonies of heaven. He is calling, He is new, and He is eternal. Our whole purpose is to Know, Love and Serve Him in this life and be happy with Him in the Next. We must pay attention! Like the eyes of a servant upon the Hand of Her Mistress, so focus on Our Lord and His Gestures of Love.