Monday, December 22, 2014

The cattle were lowing

The cattle were lowing.
low [loh] 
verb (used without object)

1. to utter the deep, low sound characteristic of cattle; moo.

Yes, angels heralded the birth of a baby in a manger, but in my heart, I know that the shepherds came with song. You just cannot work in a field and not be inspired to sing. No doubt the wise men who traveled many miles came with song as well. I have yet to travel that I was not humming or singing. And, to top it off, the cattle were lowing.

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...", my oldest granddaughter Sydney and I sang at the top of our lungs. I was taking her home after spending precious time with her. Each time I am with her, I am reminded that she has only two more years of high school then will be off on her life journey. I cherish each and every moment of memory making. "This is more fun than the radio," she said. Yes, it was indeed. We made up our own words for those we had mumbled over the years. One by one we sang off the carols we knew. Singing interspersed with laughter. Laughter interspersed with love.

I stood at the kitchen sink, preparing lunch for my two-year-old grand twins. "Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell," Nolan's sweet voice rang out as he played with his fire truck. Only a few days before, he was just adding words when I sang: Me: Jingle. Nolan: Bell. Well, you get the idea. His father was his age when he began singing, a voice that would continue to grow with the man he became. Nolan has music in his veins. Nolan has love in his veins.

My parents stood me in front of the youth group. We were at the Greenville County Home. I couldn't have been more than three or four. A little voice singing "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed." Even now I can remember being terribly frightened as these elderly people gathered around me. The home was dark, and I was afraid. Yet, the carol would not be stilled.

We were in our usual place on the middle pew on the left side of the church. I stood on the pew between Mom and Dad. Rosie and Jess Riffell sat on the second row from the front on the right side. They had been in that same spot for as long as I could remember. Junior Shuff was playing the organ. The Royer families were there. So were the Wyans, the Fourmans, the Stagers, the Sniders, the Aukermans, the Eberweins, all the families that made up our church, the family of Painter Creek Church. We all knew the songs by heart. We sang together every Sunday. Christmas was extra special. We raised our voices in joy, sometimes mismatched harmony and always in love.

A Child was born. Music filled the air and has ever since. I believe we are filled with so much love that our voices cannot be stilled. Perhaps you will find that singing this holiday season is much better than an ipod. Find joy in being with those you love. Find the joy of a season born in love. A Child is born. Let us raise our voices, young and old. Let us raise our voices in song. Merry Christmas, my friends. May the Song of this season be made real in all we do.

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