This last weekend we had our annual Christmas concert here on campus. Per usual it’s the most beautiful, moving night of the year for me. It’s the sweetest thing to look up on stage and see so many wonderful friends I know and love singing and playing their hearts out. By far, though, the most emotional part is always the closer. Each year they end the night with Silent Night.
The lights faded out as all two-hundred plus members of the choir quietly dispersed themselves among the crowd, armed with nothing more than their God-given voice and a little candle. The members of both the band and orchestra sat on stage with their own glowing candles. And then – the air saturated with little lights – their voices gracefully swept through the fragile, quiet verses.
All is calm,
All is bright
Round yon virgin Mother and Child,
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
As I sat in that atmosphere, this little haven of melody and peace and light, all I could do was quietly cry to myself. For so long I’ve been carrying this darkness around, this uncertainty about now and sadness of what used to be. Each day has been a battle I never wanted to fight, this year a war I wasn’t strong enough to endure.
But this night, right here – this silent, holy night – the voices ushered in calm and the candles welcomed light into my little heart.
Son of God,
Love’s pure light,
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.
I tell you, those tears were the sweetest gift I’ve been given in a long while. After so long of not knowing what the heck is going on in my life, what the heck is going on in this world, being able to cry not out of pain or anger or confusion, but simply out of such real and personal peace was just – everything. And I think that’s what we’re left with in this world.
The dawn of redeeming grace
We’re left with this silent and holy night. When our hearts are breaking and the night is darkest, God comes with an infant’s song, the light of I’m here with you now, I’ve come to feel your pain and cry your tears and know the death of not being loved.
We’re left with all that our hearts ever wanted. Listen for the song. Warm yourself by the light. I pray you can know and rest in the love of God-with-us this season.
Merry Christmas 🙂