Ever since I became a mother, the words to "Silent Night" make me roll my eyes a little. Because let's be real, no nights are silent when there's a baby around. Much less a baby born in a barn to a mother in the throes of labor with pain undiluted by the marvels of modern medicine.
The third verse always stops me in my tracks. There's truth there, and it's astonishingly beautiful.
Listen to this:
"Silent night, holy night,
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."
He was a baby, but he wasn't any ordinary baby. He was God in the flesh, even as he lay in the manger. May the wonder and amazement of that shocking truth settle deep into our hearts today. That God himself would leave the halls of heaven to tuck in tight and wrap himself in the flesh of a tiny, helpless newborn baby. That we might see him. That we might know him. That we might love him. That we might bow before him.
I was in my 40s when my grandmother, Jewel, died in her mid-90s. One of my strongest childhood memories was sleeping in the extra twin bed in her room and hearing her pray aloud for each family member by name before she went to sleep.
Sometimes the very thing our souls most need is to stop in the middle of the brokenness and dwell on a thing of beauty. To be reminded that for all that is wrong and broken in the world, there is also beauty and light and life.