Have you ever wondered if we will have jobs in heaven? You know, like a specialty? “Oh, she’s the angel of donut sprinkles” or “That’s Sophia, the keeper of the chocolate fountains.” (Are you getting my idea of what heaven should be like?).
Well, I’ve decided that I want to sing in the angels’ choir.
Sometimes, I shut my eyes and imagine myself opening my mouth wide and letting loose with beautiful sounds unequaled on earth, praising God. What could be better than that?
Well, to be fair, I already open my mouth wide and let forth with unearthly sounds. It’s just that no one appreciates them. That may be because my singing voice sounds like a cat fight on a hot summer night.
It’s not that I am tone deaf, although sometimes I wish I were. No, sadly I can hear what I sound like. I know that my voice is flat or sharp or at times veers off the scale entirely. I have a few friends who really are tone deaf and they are blissfully unaware of it. They sing loudly and proudly in church. They don’t notice the stares of other people or even the covert fingers in ears. I am so envious of their exuberance.
For, you see, I lip-sync in church.
That’s right. All those beautiful songs and voices float around me and I just move my mouth in time to the music (just call me the Milli Vanilli of worship).
I do this because I live in fear of ruining someone else’s worship time with my caterwauling. I know, I know, it’s not supposed to matter whether you can carry a tune or not. The point should be to simply sing to the Lord. And, I totally agree with that in theory. I really do. It’s just that when I hear the sweet sound of people worshipping all around me I hate to destroy it with my impersonation of a yak stuck in a rice field.
So, I have become an expert at lip-syncing. I learned how to do it in high school choir (that horrible semester the art class was full and I needed an elective). Worst semester of my life! I lived in terror of the teacher calling on me to sing in front of the class. But, I did perfect my lip-synching abilities. I moved my mouth in perfect synchronization to Gloria in Excelsis Deo for our Christmas concert. I was quite proud. My mother however, was not and wondered out loud why she put on a dress and panty hose to watch me move my mouth for an hour and a half.
My voice did come in handy while I was raising my kids. I used it as a threat. Whenever they whined and moaned about doing a chore I just calmly looked at them and said, “OK, don’t clean your room, but I am now going to sing.” You should have heard the sound of their feet slipping on the wood floors trying to get into their rooms before I opened my mouth. It worked great (but was rather insulting).
When my kids were very young (before they could walk/run away from me) I sang them to sleep. I’d sit in the rocker and cuddle them and sing my repertoire of songs. “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell, “Yesterday” by the Beatles, “Where is Love” from the Oliver soundtrack and “Scarborough Fair” an old folk ballad.
Babies don’t judge (or maybe they’re tone deaf). So, it was always such a special time. They’d look up at me with pure love while I sang softly. My sweet husband still maintains that those songfests were the most beautiful music he’s ever heard. Sweet, delusional man.
Perhaps that is what singing in heaven is like. Maybe I never will get the perfectly tuned voice I ache for. Maybe it’s just all about the love.
But, until then if you need your kids to clean their rooms, just give me a call!