Here is my (now) Annual Christmas Post. I wrote it in 2011 for Heidi Poppins, but the Christmas Music is back on the radio, and I am back on my Pandora and YouTube mixes. Just an FYI--each word in blue (on the words "Truly great music of the ages") links onto a beautiful performance of a beautiful Christmas Carol.
I have stopped listening to "The Christmas Station" on the radio. I used to love to turn it on in the background to help me get into a Christmas-sy mood--but now it just enrages me, so I leave it off.
There is a simple explanation (and no, it is not my hormones making me madder than David Banner on a bad day!). It is that some of the greatest music ever written is about the birth of the Christ Child--and very, very little of that great music is played on the radio. Instead, we are subjected to the worst twaddle of the twentieth century (and yes, I am referring to Wham's nausea inducing "classic" "Last Christmas" or the electronic saccharine of "Do They Know It's Christmas").
Apparently 1984 was the bottom of the barrel, song-wise--or it would have been, except that was the year that Mark Lowry wrote the words to "Mary Did You Know" (although it took another six years for someone to set it to music).
In this song, the author, Mark Lowry cites a laundry list of disabilities and sorrows that the Savior miraculously healed. Most of us know or have interacted with people who were blind, deaf, crippled or lamed in one way or another. When I was young I wondered if being "dumb" or mute still existed, because I had never met or even heard of someone who was mute. Very few people have.
Now I am the mother of one.
Partially the reason we don't hear about it is that the name has changed. Now it is called being "non-verbal"--which is actually more accurate. My daughter can not speak, but she is FAR from being the silent creature that the word "mute" implies, and, while she has neurological and developmental issues, no one who has ever met her would consider her "dumb". Also, it is statistically quite rare.
However, that doesn't change the fact that she doesn't speak. I have never heard her say "mama" or tell someone her name or how old she is. She can’t tell me where it hurts, or what she is thinking about. I would give anything to understand what is going on in her head, what she wants and how she feels.
Which is why listening to "Mary Did You Know" invariably reduces me to tears, especially when it is sung (perfectly) by Kathy Mattea.
This song is not only beautiful, reverent and thought provoking, but when she sings (at 2:07) that "the dumb will speak the praises of the Lamb" I am reminded that the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Him who heals all sorrows, including my non-verbal child. I know that someday, my funny, loving, adorable daughter will look into her Savior’s face and "sing his praises".
So, instead of listening to the radio, I made myself a playlist on YouTube, so I can listen to the truly great music of the ages.
May you have a wonderful, joy filled Christmas--and may you be aware of the miracles that you take for granted every day.
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