If it wasn’t too early for Christmas songs, I’d sing one of my favorites: “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Noël Regney wrote it in October 1962; his wife Gloria Shayne Baker did the music. They wrote it as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Since it’s too soon for Christmas carols, I won’t share the lyrics until the end of this article. 🙂
What did you see today?
My weekly Sounds of Silence contemplative prayer group meets in the sanctuary of an Anglican church. The other night, I looked up…up…up…way way up to the top of the tall, faintly glowing stained glass windows. There was a pane of clear glass. Directly in the middle of that window pane was the crescent moon in the dark night sky, shining as bright as the sun.
The moon was traveling more quickly than I approved of, already beginning to dip and hide behind the thick stained glass. The others would miss it if I didn’t speak up soon! Luckily, it was my turn to share.
“Do you see what I see?” I asked the others.
Ten people in our circle, and only one other woman had noticed the moon above the stained glass. She said she didn’t point it out because she assumed everyone saw it. Together we watched the moon dip behind the stained glass and fade out of sight.
What do you point out to others?
Notice something good. Tell it to someone. Even if it’s a stranger.
Maybe you’re at the grocery store or in the bank, and a lady’s boots or mittens catch your eye. They look fuzzy, grippy, warm and comfy. Say it. What does it cost you to compliment someone? Does it hurt to tell someone you like something about them?
Notice how you feel about giving a stranger — or even someone you like or love — a compliment. Do you feel scared, nervous, or uncomfortable? Interesting. Notice how you feel. You might even weave it into your words. “I feel weird saying this because I don’t usually talk to people with black lipstick and ear-to-nose chains,” you might say to the boy with the hummingbird tattoo, “but I really like your tattoo. I’ve never seen a hummingbird’s wings close up. The artwork is stunning!”
You’ll probably catch him by surprise, which means his reaction may surprise you. But your kind, authentic, sincere acknowledgement of something good may affect him for the rest of the day. Perhaps even the rest of his life.
I remember a teen boy telling me something good about myself when I was about eight years old. That was 42 years ago; his offhand compliment still warms my heart. What did it cost him to say something nice? Nothing. What difference did it make to me? Everything.
Just notice something good in the world around you. Point it out to the person nearest you. Do this every day for one week. Or for the rest of your life. Whatever brings you the most joy, peace and pleasure.
And don’t forget to tip your hat to God. Maybe blow Him a kiss. He is, after all, the beginning and end of everything! Including you.
With the love of Jesus,
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Said the night wind to the little lamb:
“Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite.”
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy:
“Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea.”
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king:
“Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring Him silver and gold
Let us bring Him silver and gold.”
Said the king to the people everywhere:
“Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people everywhere!
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light.”– Lyrics by Noël Regney; music by Gloria Shayne Baker.
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