It started innocently enough. She was pretty upset, crying even. Tears flowed from her heart for her momma. It’s one of the saddest times in my life and it happens all too many times. I do my best to help soothe her, and for me, that usually involves singing.
I sing familiar songs to help calm her down. First, her favorite “Jesus Loves Me.” I sing it only one time but very softly, not like I normally do. Next up is “Silent Night.” Not sure why this been a stand-by for me at bedtime but I love the long notes and gentle pace. At this point, I think she is singing with me. She’s not smiling yet but she’s holding my hand, thankful not to be alone.
Finally, I tell her that I’m going to sing a new song for her. I tell her it’s my favorite Christmas song, and I can tell she has a little joy in her heart. She’s starting to feel better. I sing the first two lines of “O Holy Night,” and then ask her to sing it with me. She is all too happy to do this because she loves to sing as much as I do. It is soothing for her just as it is for me. You could say I’ve been teaching her how to use singing to self-soothe.
She starts singing with me, and she is smiling. In the darkness, her light is bright and it warms my heart to see such love in her, to see such joy. I sing a few more lines and teach them to her. And then something incredible happens, something completely unexpected. I went back to the beginning of the song and started to break down the meaning for her. I tell her this song is about Jesus, the night He was born. Oh wow does she light up!
I keep going… I sing a few words, and then I go back and explain to her their true meaning. Again and again I do this… “a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.” The Spirit is rising in me, and I can feel the power in these words. I’m excited and I’m getting her excited. It’s bedtime but we are on fire for Jesus! We can’t stop, we just keep going and going… And I raise my hands… and I tell her about that holy night and how people cried Jesus! Jesus!
And I told her that all of the people in the land saw that star, that beautiful star that told them that God had done a miraculous thing. Our Savior was born!! And we’re singing, and her love is abundant, my heart is bursting. Here we are, when two or more come together… we are rejoicing. We felt it. O Holy Night! O Holy Night! Jesus has come! Jesus is here! Jesus has come to save us!
She understands. Her heart is open, and she is hungry for more. She loves Jesus and doesn’t want it to end. “Oh sweetheart,” I tell her, “Jesus is always there for us when we are sad, when we are angry, when we are hurt. He will never leave us. He died, remember when He died on the cross? He died because He loves us so much. He died so that God would forgive us when we are bad, He died so that we can go to Heaven.”
She’s holding on to me, she doesn’t want to let go. I can never replace her mom and I cannot take away her pain but I can tell her about Jesus, I can remind her that she’s not alone in this world. That He will never leave her alone.
We can make a difference, every one of us. It starts early in life, it starts with the precious souls God gives us to care for. It doesn’t matter if we bore them or not; we all have a responsibility to teach the next generation. I pray that you will help me.