7 Days of Heaven: Where the To-Do List is Only One Word

photo credit here

i still can’t get over it.


i know that i’ve already  mentioned it here, but it hounds me, perpetually unsettling in its singularity amidst all former memories of funeral services.  it just wasn’t right, what i saw.  it didn’t add up, didn’t fit my expectations – it exploded my view of what it means to praise.


Her hands … they were raised.


Picture it: the Sunday worship team
is center stage when the band gets started.
Hear drums.
Now keyboard.  Saxophone peals. 
God-words in amazing vocals,
lifted through speakers, falling down upon a crowd of men with collars buttoned over throat lumps,
women shifting uncomfortably in panty hose, in grief deep.
Picture  an entire roomful of people
staring hard into their laps at hands trembling, clutching shredded, tear-soggy tissue.

Then picture their eyes rising – because she is rising.
Her.  The woman down front.  She is on her feet, chin tipped toward the sky,
singing  as if her voice might reach Heaven.
And her hands – they are raised.


i’ll admit it; it unnerved me, that day.  scared me a little, if i’m being honest.  this soul friend of mine, she is made of strong stuff, but i thought that maybe she had finally cracked wide open … thought maybe i was watching the crazy start to spill out of her.


i had twisted my soggy tissue into something serpentine, on pins and needles hoping that the celebration would go as planned.  i’d been privy to the behind-the-scenes work of dozens of volunteers, all wanting the same thing:  that this hard, hard day somehow be bearable. that bright-colored balloons and large, glossy photos of those chubby brown cheeks might bring  some semblance of joy to an unthinkable reason for gathering.


and our prayers were answered, though not in the way that my checklist for the day had ordained.


Her hands … they were raised – in WORSHIP. And worship – not balloons or songs or even the presence of family and friends –  WORSHIP is what made Bane’s celebration perfect.



And it was fitting, to honor him in that way.
For though he often trailed behind his mama,crawling on chubby knees;
though he often had to be carried by the strong arms of his daddy,
on that day, in his celebration – Bane took the lead,
and those who had gathered simply played copy-cat.
We gave it our best doing as he now does perfectly.
Lifted high with Spirit, we joined in chorus with saints above, our words commingling with theirs
as symphonic God-beauty
rattled the walls of the church — the walls of our hearts, too.


and that sound that rose up, strong and sweet?
that was a foretaste … a bread crumb on the trail
to a place where a chorus of  Holy Holy Holy is playing even now…



Where is Bane?  Bane is in a place where all he does is  WORSHIP.


And we are invited to join in – even this side of heaven … we are invited from wherever we are and in whatever way we can …because  worship is not contingent on circumstances.


Worship is saying what is true … in spite of your circumstances.


When my heart tells my lips, my tongue to cry out that an amazing grace has saved wretched me, to proclaim that even when sorrow comes in billowing waves it is well with my soul – these are not mindless pop lyrics, they are powerful theological truths.  they are God-words, heavy with importance.


And  there is power in them, if we will slow our minds and cup our hands to our ears to hear the hum, the pulse … power  like an electrical current, we invited to be Spirit-conductors.  The experience of true worship is transformational, for when we stop all of our hamster-wheel running and pause to think on things eternal, we are allowing the Spirit within us the space to do  what it was created to do.


Bane is in heaven … and his days are spent doing  exactly what he was created for.


Now, before you picture that sweet babe with cartoonish cherub wings and a harp, before you equate Heaven’s chorus with the perfunctory hymns performed at your church just before the offering plate is passed, consider that the bible  defines worship differently than we often do.


“Scripture depicts people standing, walking, traveling in and out of the city, and gathering at feasts.  When doing these things, we won’t be on our faces before Christ.  Nevertheless, all that we do will be an act of worship. We’ll enjoy full and unbroken fellowship with Christ.  At times this will crescendo into greater heights of praise as we assemble with the multitudes who are also worshipping him”
from  Heaven by Randy Alcorn, (188-9).


Bane’s very being is attuned to worshipping Christ.  He never gets distracted from it.  Every verb he performs could have
“in worship” tagged on to the end of it.  He gives glory to God, and he receives joy.  It’s  a never-ending cycle of giving praise and receiving God’s love.



Compared to this, I’ll bet your daily to-do list looks  pretty pathetic. Mine too.


But here’s the catch: if we know Christ, we are called to worship him – now.  Consider it “employee orientation” for the job you’ll spend eternity doing.  You are called to take the day as it has been given to you and to perform each and every task with  a heart that pumps Holy Holy Holy and a mind that is captivated with Christ.



Chances are (if you are anything like me), you’ll fail miserably at this – at least a dozen times each day … before breakfast. But the call remains.   Worship. Right where you are.  Give praise so that you can receive joy.  It’s a struggle.  But I’ve seen it work.



It can work at your job – even when your work is not fulfilling.


It can work in your home – even when your spouse doesn’t give you the love or respect that you crave.


Have a  child who pushes your buttons?  Let the grace you show him be an act of worship.


Tired?  Discouraged?  Depressed?  Worship doesn’t require that you plaster on a fake smile; it simply asks that you lift your tears heavenward and offer your heart back, again and again, to the only One who can heal it when it’s broken.


I saw this once.  In real life. In the most unlikely of places.


Her heart was broken … but  her hands were raised.


Will you consider this week how and where you might
choose joy by offering worship?


As promised in Bane’s birthday post, we will be including a giveaway at the end of each post in our “7 Days of Heaven”series.

Today’s gift?  The gift of  music — which isn’t ALL that worship is, but is definitely close to the hearts of the Beasleys, whose home is full of song.  For those of you who weren’t in attendance at Bane’s celebration, a special treat:  we have linked some of the music that was played that day into the sidebar to accompany this post.

And today’s giveaway?  A $25 Itunes gift card, offered by a generous donor and given in hopes that the lucky winner will experience God’s love through song.

To enter today’s giveaway, you may do any (or all) of the things listed below.  Simply leave a comment letting us know that you have completed one (or more, if you so choose) of the options listed below.  For each option in the list below that you complete, you should leave a separate comment, which will allow you multiple chances to win  — up to seven entries total.  Contest closes Monday, November 15, 2010, at midnight, CST. Winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, November 16.

  1. 1. Leave a comment telling us what you like to sing — even if you’re not any good at it. It can be a favorite hymn, a genre or style of music … even silly children’s songs count.
  2. 2. Follow this blog by RSS feed, Google Friend Connect (in the left sidebar), or by email.
  3. 3. Grab our “Where is Bane?” button from the sidebar and post it to your blog or Facebook page.
  4. 4. “Like” Banebow on Facebook.
  5. 5. Follow keLi on Twitter.
  6. 6. Tweet about this giveaway.
  7. 7. Mention this contest and link back to this site in a blog post.

  1. Alex's World

    My radio dial in the car is always set to 88.7 Way FM. I love to sing everything that comes on. Its like my own little praise and worship service, on my way to work each day.

    Robbie

  2. Hattie

    I have been blessed to know this family….about thirty years. What a strong, loving family! My heart aches for their loss, but rejoices also, at knowing where Bane is.

    Some of my favorite hymns….How Great Thou Art…Take My Hand, Precious Lord….Teach Me, Lord…He Keeps Me Singing.

    Sending my love to Sonya and Dra

  3. Rachel

    I became a follower! Keli, your words are worshipful to me so often. God has given you such a gift and we are all privileged to hear from you as you help your dear friends.

    Anyway, I love music. Currently, my ipod has songs ranging from Hillsong to Miley Cyrus to Lady Antebellum:).

    My favorite hymns are In Christ Alone, Be Still My Soul, & How Deep The Father's Love For Us.

  4. slb3334

    I like to sing Christmas songs.

    slb3334@gmail.com

  5. peg42

    What a wonderful blog you have.
    One of my favorites to sing is Old time classic country music. I grew up listening to my parents listen to this music and I grew to love it. Now my kids even listen to it.
    Thanks so much for this giveaway
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

  6. peg42

    I'm a GFC follower (rickpeggysmith)
    Thanks again
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

  7. peg42

    I'm a FB friend (Margaret E. Smith)
    Thanks
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

  8. reddon30

    I like to really belt out to some early Beatles stuff…lol. reddon30@gmail.com

  9. reddon30

    I Liked on FB (Lee Dyer)…Thank you.

  10. Amber

    I love singing Bad Romance by Lady Gaga!
    Thank you for the giveaway 🙂
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. Amber

    I like you on Facebook – my FB name is Amanda Moore
    Thank you for the giveaway 🙂
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. Amber

    I follow your blog with google friend connect
    Thank you for the giveaway 🙂
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. Amber

    I follow you on Twitter – I'm @AmberGoo
    Thank you for the giveaway 🙂
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. Debbie

    I like to sing gospel music.

  15. Mysharona

    I love singing Billy Joel songs.

  16. Annette D

    I enjoy singing along to the radio. I especially like the "oldies"!

  17. Annette D

    I am following via Google Friend Connect

  18. Missybeez

    I like to sing old church spiritual songs.

    honeybeez80@yahoo.com

  19. Rebecca Graham

    I like to sing along with the Oldies station on my radio.

    rhoneygt atyahoo dot com

  20. Renski17

    Ilike to sing children's songs to my young boys.

    renski17@fortaj.com

  21. marcia goss

    I love to sing with my granddaughter. We make up silly songs and have a wonderful time together.
    marcia.goss@gmail.com

  22. Karen

    I sing silly songs with the kids. Other than that I am not a very good singer. 🙂 Thanks for the chance.
    kdimaina(at)hotmail(dot)com

  23. marcia goss

    I follow you on Google Friend Connect.
    marcia.goss@gmail.com

  24. Tj and Amy

    we love to sing twinkle twinkle and wheels on the bus. 🙂 amypugmire@live.com

  25. Tj and Amy

    i like banebow on fb. amy bolda pugmire. amypugmire@live.com

  26. Kaci

    love worship music and old hymns. On Jordans Stormy Banks is my fav… "we ARE bound for the promise land"! JJ Heller is my new fav artist check her out!

  27. Kaci

    I "liked" banebow on facebook 🙂

  28. Carol

    I love singing "Twinkel, Twinkle Little Star" to my daughter! she loves that song.

  29. crystle tellerday

    all music

  30. katfam95

    I like to sing along with my Ipod in the car!

    katfam95 at aim dot com

  31. Linda

    I love to sing Christmas Caroles, my favorite is Come On, Ring Those Christmas Bells, by Evie.
    mintstatesportswear(at)juno(dot)net

  32. Lim

    I love to sing the silly songs Grandpa used to sing to me, such as "Buttons and Bows" and "Yes! We Have No Bananas!"

  33. Anonymous

    I like to sing Beatles songs and also TV show theme songs. lucillemcg27@yahoo.com

  34. jzagarjr

    I like to sing pop songs (Britney, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga)

  35. Hayley

    I have recently found a new love for old hymns and one of my favorites is How Great Thou Art….I sing it to my 1 year old daughter every night.

  36. Hayley

    I am now following Keli on twitter….I have never met you, but I am addicted to your words….thank you for using this amazing gift that God has given you! You are truly a blessing to all those who read your words!

  37. Hayley

    I am following this blog….my heart still aches for Sonya and Drason every single day, and with every ache, goes up another prayer.

  38. Hayley

    I have all of Bane's buttons on my blog….I love to share this story, because as tragic as it is, the miraculous things that God is doing through this family just have to be shared!

  39. Hayley

    I also "like" Banebow on Facebook…..

  40. Hotsnotty2

    I love singing classic rock songs, thanks!

    Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

  41. jessica a

    I like to sing old 80's songs.
    imjessica(at)mail(dot)com

  42. Giant Sis

    I love singing the kids' songs we sang in church when we were little – like "Deep and Wide" and "Father Abraham". They bring me joy and remind me of singing them with my sisters!
    wilburnnewsome atyahoodotcom

  43. Giant Sis

    Following on twitter (giantsis)
    wilburnnewsome atyahoodotcom

  44. hale2005

    I like to sing the "Human Nature" Song.

    hellrzr(at)juno(dot)com

  45. Anonymous

    I like to sing nursery rhymes to my children to help them sleep. The Mocking Bird song is one of their favorites. 🙂
    kristiana @ live dot com

  46. Anonymous

    Liked Banebow on Facebook. (Christina C.)
    kristiana @ live dot com

  47. Anonymous

    Followed keLiweed on Twitter! (WellChristina)
    kristiana @ live dot com

  48. Chisum's Crew

    Wow! You have a powerful gift and I thank God that you are using your voice to help your friends and spread the love of Christ. My fave song to sing at the top of my lungs is Trading My Sorrows.

    trinitygsd at yahoo dot com

  49. Deb

    I have a terrible singing voice but I love to sing 80's rock songs really loud in the car while I drive home from work.

  50. Deb

    I follow on GFC

  51. Deb

    I like you on facebook
    Debra Ford

  52. mkjmc

    I am a lover of Just AS I am

  53. mkjmc

    LIke Banebow on FB
    Kathy Persons

  54. Courtney

    i love to sing country! all the time!

    vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

  55. Courtney

    google follower

  56. Courtney

    i like banebow on fb- courtney bella

  57. hbbs55

    I love to sing anything country!

  58. hbbs55

    follow blog with GFC

  59. hbbs55

    like you on facebook

  60. hbbs55

    follow on twitter as hbbs55

  61. nape

    I love to sing showtunes. When I was nine, I WAS Julie Andrews.

    Thanks for a great giveaway!

  62. nape

    I follow with Google Friend Connect.

  63. smilekisses

    Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, because that's my life.
    dolniaks[at]consolidated[dot]net

  64. Matt and Shelley

    my current most fav songs to sing by myself and also with my children are banebow jams…"Grateful" and the one playing now, "Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul!" Two of Evan's favorite songs to sing at night (and I even faintly hear him singing during the day) are "Jesus Loves Me" and the other that will always bring Bane close to us, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Some things on my ipod: Harry Connick, Jr., Glee Cast, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, and Allison Kraus.

  65. Tammy

    I like to sing Christmas songs year round!

  66. Kim Phan

    I like to sing "kiss me" by sixpence 🙂 it reminds me of the 90s~
    kimplovely(@)gmail.com

  67. msvickik

    I like to sing songs that were popular when I was a kid. Thanks!

  68. msvickik

    I follow you on GFC =)

  69. Marla

    I like to sing mary Did You Know at this time of year.

  70. Anonymous

    I love to sing Beyonce's songs all day!

    stephaie_adkins#yahoo.com

  71. amyd

    I watch so many cartoons sponge bob is my favorite to sing with my son!
    ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

  72. amyd

    follow by gfc
    amydelong
    ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

  73. Busy Working Mama

    I love to sing silly songs with my daughter – mainly Barney's I love You song.
    aleksa91 hotmail com

  74. shelley

    I love to sing Raise you Up!! Great Song!

    shelleymikey at gmail dot com

  75. pat jasmin

    i love to sing . i do in the car when i am alone

  76. NeraCaligula

    My favorite songs to sing are lullabies to my son.

    nera_caligula(at)yahoo(dot)com

  77. NeraCaligula

    GFC follower (NeraCaligula)

    nera_caligula(at)yahoo(dot)com

  78. NeraCaligula

    I like Banebow on FB (daviaj)

    nera_caligula(at)yahoo(dot)com

  79. js22

    I like to sing oldies along with the radio!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    email in blogger profile.

  80. js22

    I follow your blog on google friends connect- Joanne Schultz .
    email in blogger profile.

  81. js22

    i follow keLi on twitter – js22222222 .
    email in blogger profile.

  82. EmmaPeel

    well I like to sing to the radio, or favorite Christmas songs

  83. EmmaPeel

    I follow on GFC as Emma Peel

  84. Lori

    We sing "Elmo's Ducks" all the time…it's my daughter's favorite

  85. Lori

    I follow by GFC

  86. Lori

    I like Banebow on facebook

  87. Lori

    Posted Where is Bane button on facebook

  88. Nicole Greene

    I love to sing kid's songs with my daughter all the time—it's the best!

    pittsy82@hotmail.com

  89. Nicole Greene

    I subscribe via rSS google reader

    pittsy82@hotmail.com

  90. EMAIL ewalsh40@gmail.com

    For some reason, "Silent Night" especially this time of year. And no I'm definitely not good, so I hope that God hears with a different sense than the actual sense of hearing.

    ewalsh40(at)gmail(dot)com

  91. EMAIL ewalsh40@gmail.com

    Following you on Google Friends under ewalsh

    ewalsh40(at)gmail(dot)com

  92. EMAIL ewalsh40@gmail.com

    Like you on Facebook under Erin Walsh

    ewalsh40(at)gmail(dot)com

  93. Anonymous

    I like all types of music, and I have a lot of favorite songs.
    coletucker17@gmail.com

  94. Anonymous

    The "where is bane" button is posted on my facebook page.
    coletucker17@gmail.com

  95. Kelly Grigsby

    your words and this site are truly annointed by God Almighty. I can't enter this webpage without crying…… out of sadness for Bane's family and also out of joy for the people who will witness the realness of God by reading your posts and hearing about Bane. You are a witness/example of the God who comforts, forgives and who loves us. He deserves our worship and praise. May God bless you and Bane's family and continue the work that he has started. My prayers are with you.

  96. mail4rosey

    I like to belt out Amazing Grace when there's no one around but me and God.

    msurosey@yahoo.com

  97. paula michele

    When my 3 year old is in a cranky mood, I like to sing Wiggle songs with him. Fruit Salad and Rock-a-Bye Your Bear are his favorites. He also loves to sing Christmas songs together.

    hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

  98. paula michele

    GFC follower

    hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

  99. paula michele

    I follow you via Twitter- ksh123

    hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

  100. Alisha L.

    As embarassing as it is for me to admit it I love to sing Disney songs, especially in the shower hehe

    bakergurl02 @ yahoo.com

  101. Alisha L.

    GFC Follower of your blog @Alisha L.

    bakergurl02 @ yahoo.com

  102. Alisha L.

    Facebook Fan of Banebow @Alisha Lesage

    bakergurl02 @ yahoo.com

  103. Alisha L.

    Twitter Follower of keLiweed @Xizelle

    bakergurl02 @ yahoo.com

  104. Erica C.

    I'm a GFC follower 🙂