Beliefnet
Reprinted with permission from the website of Joan Wester Anderson.

Six-year-old Janet always had a certain memory, something she couldn't quite get hold of, like a little wisp of smoke that lingered just outside her reach. Her memory involved a sunny, wonderful place where she had somehow been before she came to earth. And joyful sounds there...

Once or twice Janet had tried to describe this vague echo, but those who listened felt it might have been a dream, or a recollection from when she was a baby. Perhaps they were right. But still...

One night, Janet was sent to her room because she had been arguing with her sister. "It's almost bedtime, sweetheart," her mother said, "So put on your pajamas, and say your night prayers. Ask God to help you have a happier day tomorrow."

Slowly Janet undressed, feeling a little sad. She knew her mother was disappointed in her. Was God? She got on her knees. "Well, God," she began, "I haven't been very good today..."

All of a sudden Janet heard a sound. Why, it sounded like people singing, far away. As she listened intently, the voices grew louder, closer. Was a radio playing nearby? No, the whole family was downstairs. Janet could hear her older sisters teasing one another as they did the supper dishes. Bewildered, she got up, looked around her room, then went to check the outside hallway, just in case. Oddly, when she left her room, the music stopped.

Quickly Janet returned, knelt down, and resumed her prayers. And the singing started again!

Janet listened intently. She didn't recognize the song, and she couldn't hear any instruments. But for some reason, she felt she had heard this choir before. The concert was rich and full and beautiful, as if a vast crowd were rejoicing. The song made her heart swell, tears prick her eyes.

Suddenly she knew--they were angels! And they had sung that way to her, long ago in a warm and loving place, when she had no remembrance of anything but Light and Beauty...

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