Although it’s been another 85* winter season in Florida, we can’t help but break out the Christmas decor, movies and music. Although I would say that I haven’t seen as many Snow Globes these days. Maybe Floridians don’t want to pretend anymore. It’s hot.
It was another night familiar to many other parents of small children, the boys were struggling to fall asleep. The routines weren’t doing much and both Jonathan and I had both taken turns sitting with our youngest to settle him. We’ve tried different things but for whatever reason, and tis the season, music would be the cure to this little boy’s insomnia.
Enter Silent Night by Pentatonix.
Have I listened to this song 56 times in a row?
Hearing this song thoroughly with all the sweet harmonies brings me back to my choir days at Eau Gallie High when we’d sing in empty hallways and the reverb would kick into high gear, echoing throughout the school. It was some of my favorite moments in high school; A glorious thing to think that kind of sound could be produced with a brilliant instructor and a couple of voices. Made me wonder what angels sound like.
Or when I joined the worship team at Calvary Chapel that first year and played keys at the Christmas Eve services with that song on the roster. I remember my fingers trembling to play such a simple melody in front of a large audience.
But this song, Silent Night, took on a different meaning just a few short years ago. And as I sat in the room with my youngest son, I remembered. And cried.
It was just 4 years ago, that Christmas Eve morning, we got the news from Dr. Bomalaski that all our options had been exhausted with Arlene who had battled stage 4 ovarian cancer and hospice was the last stop. We all sat in the room and listened. Asking few questions. A painful reality sunk in. Quiet.
Just an hour later, Jonathan had to head to rehearsals for the 4 back to back Christmas Eve services, with 15,000+ in attendance.
It has been a Schroer family tradition to gather for dinner and watch the movie It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, so after services had finished and with the nursing staff accomodating, we all met in an hospital waiting room with pillows, blankets and watched it together for the last time. Arlene tired quickly and seeing how exhausted she was, turned in soonafter.
As she drifted off to sleep, she asked us to sing her Silent Night. So Becky, Jonathan and I sang our hearts out, harmonies and all, by her bedside . Those Schroers can really sing. I remember thinking how sweet it sounded and yet nothing compared to the melodies she would soon hear on eternity’s side. What a song. What a woman.
So here we are, 4 years later, 2 children deep. My children may not have ever known Arlene but this season, they drift off to sleep regularly to the last song we ever sang to her. One day, by God’s unending mercy and grace, I hope they do get to meet the woman who changed my life. For now, if you see me get a little choked up over this song, you know why. I may be sad at heart, but I have tremendous hope. For I am told,
Where O Death, is your victory?
and where is your sting?
It’s only because of Jesus, the One the song is about, the One who holds all things together, the One the world’s axis is hinged upon, that we have this hope. I’m thankful for the ways He taught us through that terrible season and how He’s sustained us through this one.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7
I pray God’s richest blessings on you, whether your heart is full or of great loss, that you would find Him throughout this deep and meaningful season and uncover the true joy He has for those who seek Him.
In His Grip,