Earlier this week at my company Christmas party, we were treated to a performance by Ali and Christina Christensen who went to the finals on the last season of America's Got Talent. They are from here (they even sang the national anthem at the Fourth of July). So they are definitely local sweetheart celebrities.
For those of you who do not know their story, these two sisters have cystic fibrosis, a disease of the lungs which is usually fatal by early adulthood. It is a death sentence. All four children born into the Christensen family have this horrendous disease. I cannot imagine the trials the parents go through! Ali and Christina lost their sister to this disease this past summer.
They have amazing voices and amazing stage presence. I am very impressed by the big voices that come out of their little bodies, especially since they have a terrible lung disease.
This video is not from my Christmas party, but they sang this song, "Temporary Home" by Carrie Underwood. They dedicated it to their sister who passed away, saying that although they miss her, they know that this life is just a platform for what our existence is really all about.
The chorus of this song:
This is my temporary home
It's not where I belong.
Windows and rooms that I'm passin' through.
This is just a stop, on the way to where I'm going.
I'm not afraid because I know this is my
Tears streamed down my face as I listened to these two brave girls with a terminal illness sing these words. I didn't feel any sadness for them - or from them. Instead, what I felt from them was hope, optimism, and reassurance. They testified with the words they were singing. These girls knew their days are numbered. They know what will happen to them because they saw it happen to their sister. And they aren't afraid. Their knowledge of the Plan of Salvation gave them peace that filled the entire auditorium.
Still...it tugged on my heart strings and a lump formed in my throat.
How sad, how challenging, to know that life is temporary, I thought, to know that you're going to die.
I caught myself in these thoughts and realized how silly that was.
We all know we're going to die! It's kind of a side effect of human life. :) Our deaths may not be as imminent or anticipated as someone with a terminal disease, but we know it will happen. And these girls...their lives are still open. They could get in a car accident on the way home...or a cure for cystic fibrosis could emerge in the next year that takes away the disease completely.
I know the Plan of Salvation...I know that my home isn't the four walls around me now - it is with my Father in Heaven and my family above. My life is just as temporary as Ali's and Christina's. Though it's easy to forget.
It was a powerful moment for me. A great reminder that while this life is fragile and precious, it's far from everything. There is so much more. And I'll end with a joke. It's silly and irreverent, but it's also true and sums up the essence of what I am trying to say:
Don't take life so seriously - no one gets out alive. :)