Suddenly

It’s hard to describe.

I am often asked about it. The only way I can explain that night is by admitting that I can’t explain it.

We were just doing our jobs. Not a glamorous one, by any means. But it pays. In this day and age, that’s all that counted. Long, cold dark nights. Listening for the sounds of predators. Watching for the hint of daylight. Singing songs to the sheep. Such is the life of the shepherd.

It was a typical night. The three of us keeping watch. But it wouldn’t end that way.

It was a night of “suddenlys.”

At first we thought the light was a shooting star. But instead of a brief flash over the horizon, this light grew in size and intensity. Rather than traveling in a wide arc, this brilliant glow was coming directly at us! What is it? We froze, terrified at the sight before our eyes! Death seemed imminent.

Then we heard a voice. Deep. Confident. Gentle.

Don’t be afraid, the voice said. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people!

My mind was racing! A strange, unfamiliar sense of dread, awe and peace had come over me. And I liked it. Lights and colors I had never laid hold of.  A  quality of voice I had never heard. Emotions I had never felt.  And a message. Oh, the message!

What does this mean?

He continued. What did he say? A Savior has been born. To us? Yes…to us! He is Christ the Lord, and He will be found in a manger in the city of David!

Suddenly there was another suddenly. A choir of voices from the heavens filled our fields with the most wonderful, breathtaking song! We were paralyzed at the sight and sound of the beings from above! Is everyone hearing this? It was so loud, so resounding. So incredibly unique, so wonderfully majestic!

Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace among those

With whom He is pleased.

Then it happened. The third suddenly. Peace swept over me like the first rays of daylight. A warmth. A calm. A certainty in my mind and heart that whispered, “It’s going to be alright.” That’s the best way to describe it. No matter what happened from this day forward, everything was going to be alright. I just knew it!

This good news that brings great joy had brought me peace.

Yes, I would continue to be a shepherd. Yes, there would be dark nights. But where there was once fear and anxiety, peace now reigned.

Unto us a Savior was born. He is Christ the Lord. And His message is peace.

 

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