Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ten Thousand Reasons and More

Continued from Pink Roses, Beauty for Ashes

You can click on the red type to hear these lovely songs and see the slide show of our beautiful son. 

We needed to make those final arrangements that no parent ever intends to plan. We scheduled Roma's visitation for Sunday, December 13, and his Celebration of Life the next morning, December 14. "Celebration" seemed to fit Roma' life better than the word "funeral."

To select music,  I turned to Roma's Atlanta mother, Nancy. Roma had attended church with Nancy's family during the summer of 2014, after God connected Nancy and me very dramatically, as only He can do!  (See the Hound of Heaven series) I love to remember  that season of miracles, once God had opened my eyes to see, evidence of His activity was everywhere.

Nancy had sent Roma to Passion 2015, a Christian conference for 18-25 year olds in Atlanta in January 2015. She had taken him to a David Crowder concert. She had welcomed him into her family and took seriously her God-given assignment of showing Roma the love of Jesus. Nancy had seen Roma worship as I had never had the privilege to witness. She would know what music moved him. I sent her a message before we left for our appointment at the funeral home.

After our not-so-terrible visit at the funeral home, we stopped by our church to put the date, December 14th, on the church calendar. When we entered the office, the entire staff seemed to be congregated there, and  a new wave of tears came on both sides of the desks. The expressions of sympathy were hard to accept.  

Seeing Carmen, reminded us that we wanted her to sing at the service celebrating Roma's life. She agreed eagerly. I told her we were  waiting for Nancy's suggestions. I knew I wanted Ten Thousand Reasons to be part, but that was a song Roma sang around the house, and if Roma could sing it with his three-note range, it was probably appropriate for the rest of us melodically-challenged folks to sing. Carmen could handle something more challenging with her beautiful and powerful voice. I told her I would send the options Nancy suggested when we got home.  Arriving home, I checked and Nancy had sent me not only several recommendations, but also Roma's reaction she herself witnessed:

"He LOVED The Revelation Song by Kari Jobe—he told me one day it was his favorite of all songs and that it brought him to his knees every time. He also shared that it made him cry and touched his soul-we played it in the car all the time! Oh my now I'm in tears again!!!   
Also Debbie—Come As You Are-by David Crowder-that meant so much to him-He cried when we went to The David Crowder concert and Crowder sang it God's Great Dance Floor by Chris Tomlin—Roma would dance and clap-such joy in him when he heard this song.   Even So Come—Passion CD from last year—oooh how Roma worshiped when they played it"  
I know he's with Jesus and that makes my heart leap for joy but this is so much harder than I expected—I loved him Debbie and will miss him terribly."

Who but God Himself could have sent Roma and me such a friend as Nancy?

I thanked her, and was so grateful she knew and loved Roma so well. 

Surprisingly, I remembered to sit down at the computer before I got distracted away, and sent Carmen an email, copying and pasting Nancy's suggestions, along with her commentary on Roma's reaction she witnessed as he sang each song, as I have shared above.

Then I allowed my distraction away from the computer. Bruce called me two hours later, asking if I had sent the email, because Carmen never received it. 

She shared with Bruce that, while awaiting my email, they practiced Ten Thousand Reasons several times, to be prepared to lead the congregation. Then she checked her emails a few more times with nothing from me. They tried to anticipate other songs that might  be possibilities, choosing The Revelation Song.

When Bruce walked into the church, they were practicing it. He assumed they had gotten my email with the information. He was overcome with tears. Then Carmen told him she had never received my email.

Why hadn't she received it?  From my "sent" folder, I resent it, confirming the original time I sent it the first time, two hours earlier. The curious thing was that as Bruce walked into the church, Carmen, being accompanied by one of Roma's peers, Emily, was singing Revelation Song, not yet knowing it was his favorite and the song we would be asking her to sing.

Nancy's other choices we would use for the DVD created for the visitation. (If you haven't seen this, and especially if you never knew Roma, it is worth watching.)  I wanted to listen to each song to chose only three, as suggested by the funeral director.  I started typing into the search bar. "God's" and suddenly "Great Dance Floor" automatically filled in the line, complete with "Chris Tomlin." How strange. Only one word, a common word, "God's" and the rest filled in.

The next song on Nancy's list was "Come as You Are," by David Crowder." Certainly a word as common as "come" would have lots of hits, surely before a Christian song. But again, the exact thing happened. I typed the first word, "Come,"  and the rest filled in, "As You Are," by David Crowder.

One more. I tried Even So, Come, and after typing "Even," like the other times, the rest of the title filled itself in in the search bar. Complete with "Passion."

I've tried typing in those first words since that day, and it doesn't happen, but that week in December, I had my eyes open for Miracles, and God was showing off. I know Roma was close by, trying to give Him orders suggestions. Roma always likes to be the boss. 

Continue with It is Finished

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