I am a completely sensory person. I feel, smell, taste, see and hear everything. I mean everything. My husband thinks I am part bloodhound and when I am pregnant, I can tell you if the guy five rows over in church showered this morning, forgot to brush his teeth or if his wife is wearing deodorant. Really, it is amazing.
My favorite smell? Probably has to be tuberose. Most intoxicating smell? Hands down, baby smell. Nothing quite like it. Such a sweet little olfactory delight!
I have favorite foods that burst open my taste buds (anything Japanese, a big chunk of sour dough bread, amazing scallops, most chocolate). I have things that make my eyes happy (the ballet, rain, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, superb athletes doing what they do, watching my kids fall asleep).
Then there are the sounds that literally change the rhythm of my heartbeat. The sound of falling rain as it drip drops to the pavement. The sound of the fog horn from the beach on a cloudy night. The sound of my kids belly laughing. The sound of the front door opening when my husband is home from work. Such wonderful sounds! But all pale in comparison to the sound I heard one Sunday evening at church.
A few years back, I was visiting my family out-of-state. I had found a church that I really liked and attended every time I was in town. They had some young pastors and a young congregation that was right on the mark for me. It didn’t hurt that Chris Tomlin was their worship pastor at the time and worship was probably my favorite time of the whole evening.
I always sit in the front at church, mostly because I have church ADD. It’s not an official diagnosis, but over the years, I discovered that the further back I sit, the more time I spend in “prayer.” You know, the kind of prayer where you have to keep your eyes closed and hope that you don’t drool on yourself. Anyway, there I was in the front, eyes closed and singing “How Great is Our God,” (before it was even released, mind you) when I heard it. I heard the sound. Actually, it was more of a noise, but it was the most beautiful noise I had ever heard. I didn’t open my eyes, I just began weeping. Chris Tomlin’s voice faded and another voice became crystal clear. The voice of an angel.
When the song was over and I finally opened my eyes, I realized that I was sitting right next to a young adult in a wheel chair. I am not entirely sure what his medical condition was or if he was developmentally delayed or otherwise handicapped. I know he seemed to be paralyzed from the waist down and had trouble moving his arms and his hands. His face was angular and his body was mostly slumped. And his voice, although loud and off-key to many others…was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard in my life.
You see, I believe God loaned me His ears for just that moment so that I could hear what He hears. I believe He wanted me to understand that no matter how distorted, how loud or how immobile I feel at any given moment; he sees me and he hears me as perfect. And when I feel bound and loud and off-key, God reaches down and touches me and covers me in His never-ending grace.
I don’t know why I was allowed to share that moment with God, but I am so thankful that I did. I am so thankful that I carry the voice of an angel in my memory, in my soul and in my heart. I am thankful that God allowed me to see and hear perfection in a way only He can communicate, in a way that society shuns and ignores. And every time I visit that church, I close my eyes during worship and pray that I get to hear that angel voice just one more time.