Share this on:
 E-mail
33
VIEWS
0
COMMENTS
 
SHARES
About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view BonitaJewel's profile
    Posted December 15, 2012 by
    BonitaJewel
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Newtown school shooting: Thoughts and tributes


    Peace and Hope Through Darkest Night

     

    I had only just begun getting into the day, cleaning the house before  finishing up an editing project. As I worked in the kitchen, I put a  radio on so I could listen to some Christmas music. I caught the tale  end of a news report about a school shooting, and that a few people  might have died. I said a prayer for the families of those involved as I  continued working.

     

    It was only when I switched on my computer and saw a comment from a  friend on Facebook that I looked up a report to see what had happened.

     

    An elementary school in Connecticut. Eighteen children, the reports  said, had been killed. Most of them were from a kindergarten classroom.

     

    When I read that, I just began to cry. For the parents who have just  lost their beloved children. At this time of year, when joy and peace  and hope should be filling hearts worldwide, instead their hearts are  suddenly filled with the horror of such a senseless tragedy.

     

    I cried when I thought of how their Christmas will dawn as bleak as  the grey winter sky, with no hope in their hearts of spring. I thought  of my own children, my love for them, my joy at their sweetness and  love, and couldn’t imagine from one day to the next, never seeing them  alive again on earth. I cried to think that was the sorrowful  realization of so many parents today, because of an act of hatred and  malice.

     

    I had just, moments before, watched a video on youtube, telling the  story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote “I Heard the Bells on  Christmas Day.”

     

    I felt so strongly his cry:

     

    And in despair I bowed my head:
    “There is no peace on earth,” I said,
    “For hate is strong and mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

     

    When peace is torn away and sorrow and hate takes its place, the very  song of hope and love is mocked and, it seems, destroyed. He wrote the  song during such a time, when the Civil War in the United States was  tearing families apart. His son had been wounded in battle, only a short  time after his wife had died.

    How certainly he must have felt that the  song of peace was gone forever, at a time when hate was so strong.

     

    As it is today.

     

    It’s Christmas, the time we celebrate the life of a child. Not just  any child. But God’s Son, who was laid in a manger as angels sang he  would bring peace to earth.

     

    Where is that peace on earth? Why does hate seem so strong?

     

    Henry heard the bells on Christmas Day. And as he listened, he wrote:

     

    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 bells today seem silent. Seldom are they heard. They used to ring out with hope at Christmas.

     

    In the world today, has the music died?

     

    When will the wrong fail? When will the right prevail? When will the  bells be heard across the world, ringing out peace on earth, good will  to men? Not soon enough for so many, it seems. Those whose hearts are  torn and broken from the violent, destructive acts from another.

     

    It was foretold, so many years ago, that hate would abound, because  of love growing cold in the hearts of men. Everywhere I look, it is  happening. I feel almost like saying, with Frodo in the Lord of the  Rings, when he sees darkness begin to cover his land: “I wish it need  not have happened in my time.”

     

    Gandalf wisely answers, ““So do all who live to see such times, but  that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do  with the time that is given to you.”

     

    The world has entered its night, and when you’re awake at night, it seems as though the darkness lasts forever.

     

    “Yet dawn is ever the hope of men.”

     

    It was the hope of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, when he wrote the final verse to the song:

     

    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!

     

    Morning will come. The bells will be heard by all mankind. Peace will  ring throughout all lands. And the shout of joy will never end.

     

    Yet now, when darkness rises, especially in the hearts of those hurting and broken, what can be done?

     

    “All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.”

     

    Each of us has been given life on the earth today for a reason.  Regardless of what we might believe, if we each choose to bring love and  hope, and to pray for peace and comfort … perhaps that is one of the  greatest gifts that can be given this Christmas.

     

    For the sake of a Love that slept in a manger, that hope might live  through earth’s darkest nights, and rise again in the morning with the  wild and sweet song of peace on earth forever more.

    What do you think of this story?

    Select one of the options below. Your feedback will help tell CNN producers what to do with this iReport. If you'd like, you can explain your choice in the comments below.
    Be and editor! Choose an option below:
      Awesome! Put this on TV! Almost! Needs work. This submission violates iReport's community guidelines.

    Comments

    Log in to comment

    iReport welcomes a lively discussion, so comments on iReports are not pre-screened before they post. See the iReport community guidelines for details about content that is not welcome on iReport.

    Add your Story Add your Story