When Christmas bells began to ring,
and carols filled the air,
I couldn't bring my heart to sing.
It's been a painful year.
The flame of hope is but a glimmer
which lately burned so brightly
Its candle glowing dim and dimmer
piercing the dark but slightly.
"Peace on earth, good will to men,"
the blessed angels sing
But where they fly I "dinna ken";
I cannot hear their wings.
Across the world the brave young die,
The guns still roar afar. You
hear my prayer, it's ending cry,
"O God, my God, where are you?"
"Joy to the World," sweet hymn of joy,
"O Lord, assuage my grief.
Forgive my wav'ring fainting heart.
Help thou my unbelief."
I hear the mighty gloria
the grand archangels shouted,
Yet I recall another time
another mortal doubted.
I know at once God understands.
Hear the other's anguished cry,
"Why has thou forsaken me?
O, God, My God!!" and I,
I hear the surge of unseen wings,
feel love come circling o'er me.
I know that God has heard the prayers
of others praying for me.
"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,
God is not dead nor doth he sleep!"
God cradles those who doubt and fear
God weeps with those who weep.
I hear again the wonderous sounds,
the triumph and the glory,
Above a rustic manger scene
the same sweet simple story.
Soft feathers brush that tear away
and sweep the midnight sky,
And in the white and holy night
"the silent stars go by."
. . . Dee Strickland Johnson, © 2003