My daughter Kirstie and I spent a lot of last winter learning, practicing and playing songs from the Thirties and Forties for the folks at two adult day care centers around here. It was a lot of fun and I developed a real appreciation for the music too. I started listening to swing singers like Billie Holiday and all her lesser known contemps, first to learn the songs but then for my own joy. There’s something about that music that I haven’t been able to put into words yet… how I feel about God and worshipping him and all that.
Kirstie just gave me a CD called Sentimental Journey: Capitol’s Great Ladies of Song and I’ve been listening to it. There’s a track there by a nearly forgotten group, the King Sisters, singing “Take the A Train”. Listening to it just now, I noticed that I had levitated into the sunlit sky 100 feet above my little pigsty and I didn’t want to come back.
Their harmonies are like sunlight glistening in waterfall sparkles, with great swoops and swirls like delighted springtime cliff swallows and crazy key changes – they are having so much fun and have such command of their art and every cadenza is a ringing delight — for them, for the band that is backing them up, and for me listening to them over sixty years later.
Behind their mastery I hear and see in my mind’s eye a lifetime of sisters singing in their little beatup 1920s bedroom for their own delight until each of them knows without any thought at all just where their sister’s voices are going to be.
That’s how God is. That’s how we can be with Him. Our relationship doesn’t have to be all serious and ernest and frowning and passionate, and “Take my life, Lord it’s all I have but it’s yours” or some other proper sentiment.
I don’t know why I titled this “Laurel and Hardy Get The Mind of Christ”. But, since I did, if they did get the mind of Christ, wouldn’t they still make a big hash of getting the grand piano down the stairway and wouldn’t Ollie still make big steamy looks at Stan and wouldn’t we still laugh our head off at them? And love them because they stay friends forever no matter what happens?
It’s the same thing with God – but I don’t think I can explain it. I’ve felt for a long time like God is saying to me – “Yeah! Go man go! We need some life in this party! Bring on the King Sisters!” And they come out, nice little Mormon girls of all things and the whole party flips and everybody in heaven levitates one foot higher towards the great King’s throne.