We were sitting in chapel this morning and two kids went up front to lead a song. (One happened to be Josh, but that doesn't have anything to do with the story.) They led us in Blue Skies and Rainbows. I've known that song forever. Well, at least since I was a fifth grader at the school where I now teach. Kids also went up front to lead songs way back then. And they often led Blue Skies and Rainbows. But today, as 60 voices were singing that song, I had this flashback. I was sitting in chapel as a student on a tiny little folding metal chair. I was in the first row for some reason. And Paul got up to lead his songs. He said "Blue Skies and Rainbows" and we all sang along. Then for his second song choice, he said, "Blue Skies and Rainbows." Everyone laughed because when you're 11 and someone tries to lead the same song twice without meaning to, it's really funny. And Paul laughed too, because that's the kind of kid he was. He laughed all the time. And loved to make other people laugh. Every time I think of him, I can't help but smile.
The next fall, a few days after school started, he was killed in a playground accident. It was terrible and sad and incredibly heartbreaking. I wonder sometimes, who he would be today. Would he still live here or back in his native Samoa? Would he be married and have kids with his amazing smile? Would he still be making me and so many others smile? I don't know. But one thing I do know. Today in heaven he could very possibly be leading the angels in a chorus of Blue Skies and Rainbows...twice.
Blue skies and rainbows and sunbeams from heaven
Are what I can see when the Lord is living in me
I know that Jesus is well and alive today
He makes his home in my heart
Never more will I be all alone since he
Promised me that he never will part.