Friday, December 23, 2011

30 Days of Gratitude Day 23 - Silent Nights

Silent nights don't come every night, so when we have them we relish them. I remember the first time I recognized a "silent night" - our first born slept through the night for the first time and it was such a blessing. Now I am feeling the emptiness of our first silent Christmas Eve without him here. It's bittersweet but certainly something to be grateful for as he begins to make his own way in the world.

So many silent things to be grateful for this year that my list would run on forever if I let it. When we were little my Mom would tell us the story of the birth of baby Jesus and then she would play Silent Night on the piano. I would pretend that the angels created that song when our Savior was born. Now amongst all of the commercialism of the holidays it's hard to find silence. Always the optimist, I believe it's out there - you just have to look a little harder these days to find it. It might be the silent smile you see in a child's eyes when they see a tree light up for the first time. Maybe the grateful silent sigh from the homeless man you just gave a hot cup of coffee and a couple dollars to. Perhaps it's the silent thank you on that person's face that you just let go ahead of you at the stop light. These are all kind-hearted gestures that cause us to pause and silently reflect upon.

Tonight at 11:00 o'clock, I will go with my family to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church where I will again be reminded of that Savior when we sing Silent Night and that hush comes across the congregation when we blow out the candles. I'll come home with my family and before the last light is turned off, I will relish with my husband the silence of this night. I will lean in to kiss him goodnight and I will say a prayer of gratitude for all the silent blessings that the Savior has given us this year... I'm jus' sayin'!

"Silent night, holy night
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

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

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 "

~ Joseph Mohr

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