I met Melissa Dixon on the first day of school.
OK. It was my first day of seminary, but it was still the first day of school. We instantly hit it off because we discovered that we grew up just a few miles away from each other. She’s hilarious and has great insight into how people operate. I think you’ll see that shine through in her post.
Like me, Melissa is a seminary drop-out. She’s also a Sunday School teacher to people smarter than her and is mercifully covered by Jesus’ grace. She lives in Johnson City, TN, with her husband, Tim, and her two spoiled cats, Therion and Ollivander. She blogs sporatically at A Place to Land.
Speaking of blogging, she’s actually one of the reasons I started my blog oh so long ago (back when LiveJournal was all the rage). But maybe you shouldn’t hold that against her.
Some glad morning…
The minute Matt mentioned this guest blog to me, I knew exactly which song I wanted to pick. It was actually reflexive; there were no other options.
I’ll Fly Away.
I grew up in a fairly small church, and we had some lovely ladies who worked tirelessly with the children, and who will earn their place by Jesus’ side for dealing with me as a child. Someone thought it would be a good idea for us to have a children’s choir, except no one really wanted to put forth much time or effort to make it happen, and our usual ladies were already teaching Sunday School and Children’s Church. To their credit, they said, “ Bring it on!”
So, we sang some songs with a tape, we sang old Bible School songs, and when we could get someone to play piano for us, we sang “I’ll Fly Away.” Of course, we didn’t just sing it. We tore. It. Up. We sang it with enthusiasm usually reserved for secular songs and songs with the word “underwear” in them.
One of the beauties of this song is that it is multi-generational. It’s easy enough for little kids to catch on to, and completely nostalgic for adults. We just loved it because it was the closest thing you were going to get to rockin out in a tiny Baptist church whose entire worship team was a piano.
Out of the mouths of babes, it’s easy to get lost in the happy jangly rhythm and upbeat tune and completely lose the message. One of the most important points of this song is that, someday, I will get to be with Jesus. It’s a sweet song of freedom. Free from text messages, mean bosses, and making ends meet. Although tinged with the sorrow of death and leaving this word, we are weary and we can see the end in sight.
But over all the song has that infectious joy of childhood. Rare is the individual who can sit still during the song, and even if you’re not a hand clapper, you will surely find your feet have a mind of their own and you can’t help but at least hum along.
After all, it’s probably the closest we’ll ever get to Heaven on Earth.