It is an unprecedented time in our history. It is a time of fear and unease. We are smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic called the coronavirus. A lot of us are “social distancing” right now—or at least, I hope we are. And in response I think people are spending more time on social media.
One of the ways we are coping is by trying to focus on fun and light-hearted things. One of the ones I like that have been going around Face book is people listing songs that fit, or go along with, the COVID-19 crisis. They are naming songs like “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by the Police, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, and “One is the Loneliest Number” by Three Dog Night.
For some reason, as I was lying in bed last night, another song popped into my head. One that I have not thought of in a long time, but realized would be the perfect song to be my “theme” song during this scary time. And, then I realized that it should not only be my theme song, but everyone’s theme song. The song I am referring to is “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle, which, by the way, hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 on December 5, 1987. (I was eleven years old.)
In Matthew 22:36-40, Matthew asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
If you listen to “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” you will note that it’s more of a romantic-type song. It's a song that sounds like Belinda is singing to her love. Well, if you read the lyrics, you can actually paint a different picture for yourself. Read the words to yourself and direct them towards our Heavenly Father. They don’t need to be romantic at all. When you read them as if towards the Lord, they fit and make so much sense--especially in this time of fear, worry, and the unknown.
When the night falls down
I wait for you and you come around
And the world's alive with the sound
Of kids on the street outside
When you walk into the room
You pull me close and we start to move
And we're spinning with the stars above
And you lift me up in a wave of love
Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth?
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth
They say in heaven love comes first
We'll make heaven a place on earth
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth
When I feel alone, I reach for you
And you bring me home
When I'm lost at sea I hear your voice
And it carries me
In this world we're just beginning
To understand the miracle of living
Baby, I was afraid before
But I'm not afraid anymore
Once we know God as our Lord and Savior, we don’t need to be afraid of anything anymore. As Isaiah 41:10 reminds us, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” And, as we learn in Matthew, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.
And, Mrs. Carlisle drives all of these point home with this song; "I'm not afraid anymore," “love comes first” and, “we’ll make heaven a place on earth”—just as Jesus tells us. By knowing and trusting in the Lord Jesus, we can do all of these things! What an encouraging and needed reminder in this time of the coronavirus.
We don’t need to physically be near people to love them, encourage them, and uplift them. We only need a heart that cares. So, let’s take Belinda’s advice and put love first and make heaven a place on earth.
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.