Monday, November 16, 2015

God Bless Us Every One

We left behind the television images of emergency lights flashing and sirens screaming. The scene from Paris may have been a half a world away, but with solemn-faced commentators interviewing dazed Parisians who told a story of hate and carnage on a Friday evening, it seemed much closer.

Many of those killed had gone to a concert hall for an evening of entertainment. And that's where we were headed, too, though the music would be decidedly different. We were about to see "A Christmas Carol," a musical production by K-State Theatre. Those in Paris were dancing to Eagles of Death Metal at a Parisian night spot.

We were there especially to see Mrs. Fezziwig, portrayed by our niece, Madison.
Selfie by Madison
As the story, music and dancing unfolded on the McCain Auditorium stage, I still had those horrific images and unanswerable questions in the back of my mind: Why is there so much hate in this world? Why do bad things happen to good people? How do we change it?

The story on the McCain stage is a familiar one. Scrooge "bah-humbugs"  his way through Christmas Eve, spewing anything but Christmas cheer. But, as the Ghost of Christmas Past visits, the audience learns the back story, the circumstances of Scrooge's life that colored his world view, including a father and mother who died too young and a lost love. The Ghost of Christmas Present opens Scrooge's eyes to the challenges that others in his life are facing, circumstances he was too self-centered to see before. And the Ghost of Christmas Future portends an ending no one would choose.

As the musical came to a close Friday night, the cast gathered on the stage for a reprise sung to a standing ovation. From each end of the stage, battery-lit candles were passed from one person to the next, continuing until each person held a light.

Maybe I would have been moved by the words at any performance, but they seemed especially written for a night when terrorism had again rocked the world. I listened with tears in my eyes and looked up the words as we drove away from McCain:
Let the stars in the sky
remind us of man's compassion.
Let us love 'til we die
and God bless us every one.

In your heart there's a light
as bright as a star in heaven.
Let it shine through the night
and God bless us every one.

'Til each child is fed,
'Til all men are free,
'Til the world becomes a family

Star by star in the sky
and kindness by human kindness,
Let me love 'til I die and
God bless us every one.

Idealistic? OK, I'll admit that. But the next day, as we drove toward Topeka to see our granddaughters, I saw this graphic on a friend's Facebook page:
And I again thought of the words from the reprise, " 'Til the world becomes a family ... God bless us every one."

The whole world seems angry. Even those who don't choose to shoot innocent people in cold blood attack with words of hate and intolerance. We hold onto grudges like we're playing tug of war and we must win.

So, "kindness by human kindness," it will take all of us to change.

God bless us every one.

Even the darkness will not be dark to You;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to You.
Psalm 139: 12

The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord
    that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
Proverbs 20: 27  

I'm linked to Tell His Story at Jennifer Dukes Lee's blog. Check out what other bloggers are saying about faith in our everyday lives there!


  1. Glad you had the opportunity to go to a KSU play, Kim. J really enjoyed attending the plays when he was in college. I went to one to get extra credit for a music class. J shakes his head at me me for not going to more games and events.

    The Paris terrorist attacks are heartbreaking. Thank You for your down to earth and spiritual thoughts about this occurrence. Did you read Button's Thoughts today? She also did a good job coming up with an answer to "what can I do."

    The cat ... when we first got him he let me pet him, but wasn't real fond of the idea. A few months ago he decided that he loves being on the deck and gets along well with Rosie. It did take her a little bit to be ok with being friends with a cat. He literally follows me almost everywhere I go around the yard. Molly barks at him and he laughs at her. Mouser likes to sleep under the cover to the grill as it's out of the wind.

    Hope your Women's Group meeting goes well!

    1. As you know, cats are Randy's friends, so he was curious about yours! We don't have dogs right now, but they've always peacefully coexisted in the past.

      We enjoyed getting to see Madi in the play. It would be fun to live closer to a college town to be able to take advantage of all the "extras" that come to town.