Thursday, December 5, 2013

Do you hear the Bells?

Adult Children of Divorce and others who have experienced loss , often feel conflicted at this time of year.  Holidays often bring warm , happy feelings and well-wishes, good food and gifts of many kinds.  For those who are grieving , the messages we receive from others may not match with the way we feel at the moment.

Henry W. Longfellow experienced this on Christmas Day in 1863.  His wife had recently died in an accident , and his oldest son was serving as a Union soldier in the American Civil War, without his father's blessing.  Henry penned his poem "Christmas Bells" when he was feeling the conflict, of the hope and good news of the season, yet feeling his own personal loss at the same time.  Later the poem was put to music.

I have always loved the sound and melody of the song, but only recently truly read and thought about Longfellow's words.  And I added a few stanzas of my own, as follows:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

( my addition:
Peace on the Earth, in hearts of men!
But not always between each of them
Good will , the goal
For men to be whole
On Christmas Day and in Heaven

Despair and Hope, together be,
May God have mercy on me
In war or peace, in all of these,
Christendom's truth can set us free)

This Christmas, as a person who is grieving the loss of your family after the divorce of your parents,  or as you grieve another loss,   remember the Christmas Bells.

They ring loud and deep.  They remind us that there is hope. Hope of a heart that can be right with our Maker and our God, regardless of if all human relationships are not right.  Do you hear the chime, the chant, the unbroken message of a God who can give us true peace amidst life's most difficult circumstances?  This holiday season, listen.  You  may only hear a soft , faint, whisper but He is there!!!  

( you also may  be interested in the posts  The Holiday  and Things Still Aren't Right This Christmas  if you liked this one ....)

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