Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; do not be jealous of those who do wrong. For they shall soon wither like the grass, and like the green grass fade away. Put your trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and feed on its riches. Take delight in the LORD, and He shall give you your heart’s desire. Commit your way to the LORD and put your trust in Him, and He will bring it to pass. He will make your righteousness as clear as the light and your just dealing as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:1-7
There is a low-grade fretting accelerando in the background noise of my mind and soul. And my spirit.
A harsh staccato has twisted and tangled itself into the peace and joy and good will of Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
And the normal sweet clutter and mild angst of Christmas in America with lists to do and Amazon reviews to scan and quick pop-ins to Buffalo Exchange and rushing out the door holding yet another towel-wrapped two loaves of bread and a Trader Joe’s bottle of wine just a little bit late to the next event has an intensified pounding percussion section of blaring headlines of fear and hatred and finger-pointing.
Americans are more fearful about the likelihood of another terrorist attack than at any other time since the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, a gnawing sense of dread that has helped lift Donald Trump to a new high among Republican primary voters, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
In the aftermath of attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris and in San Bernardino plurality of the public views the threat of terrorism as the top issue facing the country. A month ago, only 4 percent of Americans said terrorism was the most important problem; now, 19 percent say it is, above any other issue.
And I allow my eyes to be wrested away from His lovingkindness and power to stare at the impending gloom loom with a sneer over all of those sun-faded Nativity scenes.
And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Stillness is a bit elusive. NPR radio has already clicked on at the Voelkel house. The dishwasher is sloshing. And a faucet is dripping somewhere.
But all of the glass in the picture frames and window frames and gold-gilt mirror frame reflect sparkle lights back and forth and back again. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. Charly and Marcus are coming this year. And Wali. And Cameron. And Elizabeth from Mexico moved in yesterday. And she loves the sort of awkward front bedroom, the one that Rogelio says is visited at night by a woman who walks through the walls, and she already up, about to run around the park after she eats a tangerine and an apple.
And. And. And.
But Giovani’s star shines stretches out from the top of the tree.
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
The St. Francis fountain in the greenhouse splashes. Or was that one of the tilapia in Alan’s big fish tank?
Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!
Be still before the LORD.
The LORD God Almighty.