In 2012, twelve year old singer Jackie Evancho delivered an exquisite rendition of Nella Fantasia. It is the vocal version of Ennio Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe. Gabriel’s Oboe is from the soundtrack for the 1986 film The Mission: A favorite film, and composition, of mine.
Sweet child, I believe that what you were singing about was a primordial human longing, a desire in the hearts of humanity, that has stretched across the centuries. It is what Solomon was referring to when he wrote that God “has put eternity in their hearts.” (Ecclesiates 3.11). It is a desire for the perfect love of God.
God is love. He made us for heaven. C.S. Lewis wrote “Now, if we are made for heaven, the desire for our proper place will be already in us, but not yet attached to the true object”
Whether you knew it or not, Jackie, you sang of the weight of glory that God has placed within you and me and every other human being throughout the ages. It is embedded deep within your soul and is intertwined with the image of God you bear. It’s roots began with the first spark of your life (that we commonly call conception).
As beautiful as the music and words are that you sang, they are merely symbolic of a larger, grander glory that eludes expression and fall short of the real object of perfect love. When the last note fades away, we are still left with that yearning for something and somewhere else. I believe it is heaven.
Fulton Sheen wrote this:
“… the human heart heart is isolated and in agony: it has more love to give than any earth-bound object can receive — it clamors to be loved more lastingly and comprehendingly than any human lover. But both the longings — to love perfectly, to be loved perfectly — are merely vacuums in man.”
Ah, the longing for perfect divine love! It can only be found in Christ and reach its full potential and reality in heaven.
Whether you were aware of it or not, sweet child, that is the dream you sang about so beautifully that evening. It is made complete in Jesus Christ. God bless you and keep you in all you do.