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What I Heard

The poor Mr.

Living with me isn’t always easy – especially when I randomly shed tears, as I’m wont to do often of late.

This morning at church, we sang “Oh Holy Night.”

Now, I usually get in my feelings during non-seasonal praise songs, but there was something about this one that struck a chord with me this morning.

As I closed my eyes and sang, the raised communal voices of those around me made me think.

Before Hurricane Michael destroyed our church, our sanctuary was adorned with brightly-lit Christmas trees, wreaths, and garland.  We used to sit in pews embellished with glittery ribbons.

Now, we attend service in a bare school gymnasium – one that will eventually need to be repaired.  We sit on folded chairs and bleachers that volunteers set up each Saturday morning and other volunteers put away on Sunday when our service is finished.

When I closed my eyes, I was reminded that the outer appearance mattered not one iota.

The lack of festive Christmas decorations wasn’t taking away the joy that the season had brought – a joy that we seem to have, holiday or not – a joy born out of a deep sense of gratitude.

What I heard during that song was the beautiful sound of a congregation praising our God for His most incredible gift to the world – His Son.

With my eyes closed, I imagined what early churches must have sounded like as they, too, worshiped without official church buildings.  Parishioners gathered where they could.  The setting didn’t matter.  They were together giving thanks to the one God who loved them and had provided a way back to Him.

The storm took a lot from us, but it didn’t steal our faith, which has been built on a foundation that no Cat 5 hurricane can ever blow away.

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