Going caroling has always been a Christmas tradition for me and tonight I’d like to share a story about a very special song and why it's so meaningful.We’d visited five or so houses when we arrived at our last address. As we knocked on the door of this house an elderly woman opened the front door and invited us in. We stepped inside a darkened living room and the woman quickly explained that her husband, who was lying on a bed in the middle of the room, was on hospice care. She went on to say that Silent Night had always been his favorite Christmas song and while he might not open his eyes she was sure that he would be able to hear us if we were to sing it for him.
I was a bit emotional as I started to sing and I could hear my voice cracking but as our small group continued to sing, the song became more ethereal as we sang the words, “sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.” By the time we finished the song silent tears were streaming down our faces. The man’s wife began to weep as she thanked us for our visit.
As we opened the door to leave we realized that it had been snowing and there was already a dusting of snow on the walkway. The night sky was a beautiful midnight blue which was lighted by the snowfall. Somehow the snow was muffling outside noises turning a busy weeknight into a silent night. As I drove home I couldn’t stop thinking the last visit and the dying man. It was hard to sleep that night.
Early the next morning as I was getting ready for work the phone rang. It was one of the carolers from my group calling to tell me that the man we’d visited had died just a few hours after our visit.
Since that night, Silent Night has held a very special place in my heart.