My Silent Night
It’s truly Christmas…and I am not talking about the heavenly smells of a turkey roasting in the oven or tree lights twinkling, or even beautifully wrapped presents under the tree.
It’s truly Christmas because the plans I had for “doing” Christmas can’t happen.
Vermont got hit hard with the winter storm — more than 24 hours have gone by and still no power. The turkey thawing in the fridge will be tossed. The baking I had planned will not happen. The tree lights are off as we can only use a meager bit of electricity with the generator. And my husband has to work, so it is just me and a snoring Bernese Mountain dog puppy at my feet.
So I sit here with the candles lit, eating raw oatmeal and honey (it is actually pretty good!), and while I felt anxious and sad at first, I realized, “God is listening to the desires of your heart: to live off the grid, to live by candlelight, to make do with the provision at hand and not want more. To really live differently than I have been.”
I wonder what Christmas miracles will happen on this holy night?
I’m not talking about the miracle of having the lights back on, but rather what will my heart finally be opened to now that all the trappings of Christmas have been taken away? What will be birthed? What dreams will finally awaken and begin to take form?
Some of you know that after five years of being editor of magazine, my time came to end. News came right before Christmas.
During pondering my what next, my husband offered some thoughts and encouragement. Imagine his surprise (and fear!) as well as mine, when I heard myself say, “I want to live deep in the woods and write about an alternative way to live!” He was skeptical that I could make a living like that. And then the next day, my life was thrown into off the grid living.
So I wonder what this Christmas, which has been filled with so many of life’s challenges (job ending, no electric, and oh, did I mention we didn’t have water the other day in the old well as well!), will bring.
I wonder because, after all, “Silent Night” was composed because a little church’s organ was broken one snowy Christmas night and the faithful had to sing a new song, a new way.
It’s funny how we tend to forget about “Silent Night’s” humble beginnings and have made its singing a sacred cow: If it doesn’t happen with an organ and little candles lit in a church’s sanctuary, we get sad. (I invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel, Old Stone Well Farm, as this year, I went into the woods by myself and lit candles on a tree as I listened to “Silent Night.” Go to YouTube@oldstonewellfarm )
I wonder because even before the birth of the beloved Christmas song, there was another song being composed. The song of salvation. The song of hope. The song that makes me know deep in my heart, anything is possible, because that song was a blend of angels’ voices and a baby’s cry. It was God’s love song to us.
Rejoice! Our Savior has been born!