Shared by Kris Halverson
Music has always been an important part of my life, so the invitation to share a “soul song” was intriguing for me. It was harder than I imagined to capture one particular song or moment, but it wasn’t hard to realize that my grandma would be a part of the story. She was an exceptional musician and accomplished pianist who was still playing “programs” at her nursing home when she was 90.
All of our family gatherings involved time around the piano, most notably at Christmas when we would break into 4 part harmony to sing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Grandma led us while singing soprano and playing the accompaniment, embellishing the score as the Spirit moved her. Most of the rest of us could carry a tune and some had true vocal talent, so our Hallelujahs were at least passable. But the joy, love, and music flowing from Grandma year after year is what marked my heart.
The only thing that defined Grandma more than her musicianship was her faith. She lived and breathed the love and peace of Jesus. That became crystal clear to me at my Grandpa’s funeral. Faith, music, and family were the foundation of their 63 year marriage, so Grandpa’s memorial service was filled with scripture and hymns. ‘It Is Well With My Soul” was the last song. My voice was failing through my own tears, but then I distinctly heard Grandma. I looked over and she was still singing, just as strong and firm as if we were all back around their piano with Grandpa sitting in his chair.
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It was well with her soul and hearing that helped anchor my own.
This post is part of our Lenten devotional series “Songs of the Soul” – learn more at gslcwi.com/lent