Elijah is in bed. Narah is blessedly asleep, after what seems like weeks of never sleeping (but which has really only been three days of abnormal fussiness and wakefulness). Dan is nursing a back ache and building airplanes out of LEGOS to surprise E when he wakes up in the morning. And I've decided that "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is a complete crock.
Well, maybe not the whole thing. But the third verse?
"How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given / So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven."
I was half-humming, half-singing that song under my breath as I microwaved my cup of tea for the third time today and I got to thinking about the words. And I thought that at the births which I've been privileged to attend, I've not noticed a lot of silence. I realize that there are women who labor and deliver their children quietly, even silently. But I'm willing to bet that between laboring mothers and just born babies and (at many births) hospital staff, most births are noisy. Noisy, and painful, and sweaty from hard work, and exhausting.
And I think . . . I think that's what God "imparting to human hearts the blessings of his heaven" looks like a lot of the time, too. Noisy and painful and exhausting. Blood, sweat, and tears. Hope and fear.
The first verse seems a better fit.
"Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light / The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight."