I have cried over Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “Heaven is the Face” before. In fact, when it was first released a few years ago I cried over it thinking of the pain their family must be experiencing. Until today, I hadn’t let myself listen to it. And then this morning it came on the radio while I was in the car and I cried while I sang along (at least with the parts I knew). I realized that he captured the feelings of anguish that a Christian parent feels saying goodbye to their child in this life. Some of the lyrics, like about the “dark brown eyes/that disappear when she smiles” and the “sweet maple syrup kiss” are personal to Chapman. But the rest of the song says so well what I think about when it comes to seeing my little girl again.

I’ll post the lyrics in a moment, but for me there is another dimension that Chapman didn’t experience because his loss was so sudden and he didn’t experience a long, drawn-out illness the way we did. I already got to see heaven in my little girl’s face. The day she died, the change in her face was pronounced. From pain to peace. It wasn’t just a slight change, it was an amazing change. The kind of change that can only come from the ultimate healing of heaven. I saw heaven in her face. And someday I will see it again.

 

Heaven is the face of a little girl
With dark brown eyes
That disappear when she smiles
Heaven is the place
Where she calls my name
Says, “Daddy please come play with me for awhile”

God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more
But God, You know, that this is what I’m aching for
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door
So right now

Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep
Lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing
And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms
Being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams

And God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more
But God, You know, that this is what I’m longing for
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door

But in my mind’s eye I can see a place
Where Your glory fills every empty space
All the cancer is gone
Every mouth is fed
And there’s no one left in the orphans’ bed
Every lonely heart finds their one true love
And there’s no more goodbye
And no more not enough
And there’s no more enemy
No more

Heaven is a sweet, maple syrup kiss
And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone
Heaven is the place where she takes my hand
And leads me to You
And we both run into Your arms

Oh God, I know, it’s so much more than I can dream
It’s far beyond anything I can conceive
So God, You know, I’m trusting You until I see
Heaven in the face of my little girl
Heaven in the face of my little girl

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