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My Wish for You– A Silent Night

by | Dec 17, 2019

By Carol Tobias, NRLC President

Editor’s note, This appears on page three of the December digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please be sure to share the latest edition with your pro-life family and friends.

I love the Christmas season. People seem to be a bit more joyful, helpful, and generous. Beautiful lights and decorations on display make everything merry and bright. I love Christmas movies and I especially love Christmas music.

Some songs are thought-provoking (Mary, Did You Know?) and some (Joy to the World) are uplifting. Some are romantic (All I Want for Christmas is You) and others, whimsical (All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth). I love them all.

I have yet to meet anyone who does not know at least the first verse of Silent Night. That peaceful melody with simple but profound lyrics, especially the third verse, is much-loved. According to Guinness World Records, Bing Crosby’s 1935 recording is the fourth best-selling single of all-time. (Not just Christmas songs, but all songs.)

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light;
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

The 200-year old song takes on special meaning for me this year. As the country is seemingly torn apart with politics and discord, manifested in anger and hatred and even physical assaults by people who don’t like another person’s point of view, we need a night of peace and calm, of pure light and redeeming grace. One night, as a start.

Many people are familiar with the story from World War I, when British and German soldiers, fighting each other on French soil, interrupted the fighting for a one-day Christmas truce. As the soldiers were sitting in their bunkers on Christmas eve, 1914, some German soldiers sang “Stille Nacht” while everything grew quiet and soldiers from both sides listened. When they finished, the British soldiers responded by singing the English version of Silent Night.

As Christmas morning arrived along the 500-mile Western Front, soldiers from both sides emerged to shake hands, exchange personal property as gifts, and play various forms of ballgames. On December 26, the truce ended and soldiers went back to fighting the enemy.

I offer that not as a direct comparison. As strongly as we disagree with others, what we ultimately war against is not misguided people but powers and principalities. Often they genuinely, truly do not know what they are doing. That is why some people do leave the abortion industry. Our job is to help them out of the pit by appealing to the better angels of their nature.

This is not about abandoning our convictions or retreating a step in mission to provide unborn children with legal protection and their mothers a better way than destroying their progeny. That is unthinkable.

But can we do better in listening to our family and friends, when they express doubts, or have questions about our position? Or to find out where they are really coming from? Can we give someone the benefit of the doubt as to good intentions when they express an opposing opinion? Of course we can, if we want the conversation to continue. They may not know as much as we do and have fallen into a position without thinking through all sides. And, of course, there may be an abortion in their past that colors their response.

Like those soldiers in our great-grandparents’ day, I’m imagining one day of truce and civility that might humanize everyone — and give us a chance to better convey the humanity of the unborn—a day that extends forward, 24 hours at a time.

Would that be reciprocated? It’s hard to believe so when we remember that the TV show “Scandal” played “Silent Night” in the background as its star got an abortion. That was a slap in the face to pro-lifers and Christians everywhere.

But that is likely not your next door neighbor or a family member or a member of a community organization. Many simply have not thought through what we are doing—not just to unborn children but to ourselves—when we callously take their lives. They are not the insensitive characters we see portrayed on television and in the movies.

I pray that my wish for a time of peace and calm, external and internal, can work for one day. Maybe, just maybe, we can create one moment that will be remembered for a century.

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