Wonder Boi Writes

Christmas Song Blog Day 21 – I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day

Today’s song is one of my modern favorites. Not for its joy (It almost always leaves me in tears.), but for its power. It’s based on a Longfellow poem written during the Civil War. His son had joined the Union army against his will and was severely wounded at the Battle for New Hope Church in Virginia.  Longfellow spent that Christmas not knowing if Charles would heal or even live.  He wrote of hearing Christmas bells and feeling disconnected.

And in dispair I bowed my head. “There is no peace on Earth,” I said. For hate is a strong and mocks the song of peace on Earth, goodwill to men.

This poem that was later turned into a song fits for me right now in so many ways. I do not feel the traditional Christmas joy.  I do not identify with the angel’s message of peace on earth, goodwill to men. Our country is more divided than I have ever seen it.  The wounds from the Civil War have been ripped open again, and added to them is a resurgence of hate and bigotry that culminated in the election of man representing all of those horrible ideals to the highest office. The darkness covers us now.

Today is the winter solstice. Light is in short supply, and in its absence the darkness overtakes me. I feel it in my bones. It seeps through my skin and settles over my heart.  Tonight I will sit in the cold silence and pray for this night to end.  It’s a prayer I have become all too familiar with, but I know that others before me have prayed it as well. Throughout our history, we have begged God to return us to the light.

Till ringing, singing on its way, the world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime.

The light returned for Longfellow. The light returned to America. The light will return for us, slowly, painfully, incrementally, sixty seconds a day. That’s the way the world works.  It revolves from night to day. One minute of light at a time amid an ocean of darkness.  So small it won’t be detectable at first. But like one candle that lights another, the next day it will double. Then bit-by-bit ,those minutes will become hours. One voice will become a choir.  One protest will become a movement.

Then ring the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead nor does He sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth goodwill to men.


December 21, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Even in dark times the voices of good people will not be silenced. Thank you for giving me much food for thought today.

    Comment by canuckeh | December 21, 2016 | Reply

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