I had just attended my 5th funeral in as many months. It was for a 5-year-old boy named Tommy, and the grief I saw Tommy’s family battling touched my heart with a depth I could not have expected. It’s the same grief I saw in the faces of little Alayna’s parents after they lost their 2 year old baby just a few months earlier.
With the Christmas season around the corner, I prayed for God‘s grace to sustain them. I knew these families would have a permanent, yearly reminder of their loss during a holiday that should otherwise be a celebration filled with joy and love. I desperately wanted them to have hope in the midst of deep pain.
I sat at my piano trying to write a song that would give comfort to anyone who experienced such a loss: “The Sweetest Gift”. Without much thought, I made a video of myself singing my new song and posted it to my Facebook page. During that first week, “The Sweetest Gift” was shared by thousands and viewed by over 7 million people, and I realized more than ever that Tommy and Alayna’s family were not alone. In fact millions expressed their grief in similar ways, but somehow God was breathing hope into despairing situations through this song.
I was overwhelmed with messages of love and gratitude from families who were affected by loss. There was peace in my heart that God had chosen me as his instrument to provide some comfort, but God had even greater plans for the song’s message than I could have known then.
Jon Schmidt, of The Piano Guys, was struggling with his own loss when “The Sweetest Gift” somehow showed up in his Facebook feed; I was blessed that it gave Jon and his family comfort as well. Jon was so touched by the song, that he offered to include it on The Piano Guys new album, “Christmas Together”.
With the help of Jon and The Piano Guys, the message of love and comfort that “The Sweetest Gift” conveys has the opportunity to reach and speak to the hearts of so many people challenged by the loss of loved ones. I am so grateful for this opportunity that Jon and The Piano Guys have given me.
I pray “The Sweetest Gift” keeps encouraging others. The words are true, and that’s why the song has the power to bring this kind of hope. Though we have trials in this life, we have the promise of eternal life where there will be no more pain, or sorrow, where we will be reunited with loved ones.
While we celebrate the birth of our Savior, God’s own Son, we can remember that our loved ones who have gone on before us are actually celebrating with Him. For me, the sweetest gift is the one he offered to me on the cross.
He gave his own life for mine, so that I could spend eternity in heaven with him, and all those who have already gone before me to meet him.