“Are you ready?” friends kept asking. And it was starting to vex me. Ordinarily, I would be ready. But with a week left before Christmas, there were cards not yet written and cookies still to be baked. Moving in November had really messed with my holiday preparations this year.
When a dear friend invited me to her son’s Christmas concert the final Sunday before Christmas, the left side of my brain flatly rejected the notion. I had too much to do to spend a whole afternoon at a concert. But the right side of my brain which, for southpaws like me, runs the show had me blurting out, “Sounds like fun – I’m all in.”
Intuitively, I knew I needed some Christmas spirit. And an afternoon of Christmas carols sounded like just the thing. But as I traveled the long, convoluted train ride to Dorchester I wondered if my time might have been better spent preparing for the holiday. I was behind and still had so much to do before Christmas.
The concert was held in a beautiful old Catholic church with magnificent jewel-tone stained glass windows and majestic statuary. Even thought I had not been there before, I felt welcomed amidst all the familiar symbols of my faith.
Shards of late afternoon sunlight streamed through the stained-glass windows, and I settled into my seat in the crowded church pew. The young singers and musicians were middle- and high-school aged and they represented four different Boston choirs and musical ensembles. As they gathered on the steps of the altar, I couldn’t help but notice that these youngsters were a diverse group – in age, in height, in ethnicity, each one beautiful and perfect in his or her own way. I knew by reputation that they were talented and the moment they began to sing, their pure, sweet voices touched my heart. This, I thought, is what angel voices must sound like. A peace I had not felt for some time came over me. Yes, I thought, I am ready. I am ready for Christmas.