I want to hear the story again.
I want to hear it from the single mother working three jobs who sings her soul straight into the wide-open eyes of her infant.
I want to hear it from the business man who said “Enough,” and left the board room’s lies to discover the truth inside his own soul.
I want to hear it from the little girl who helps to feed and dress her little sister who has a disability.
I want to hear it from the hospice nurse who sits and sings beside a dying elder even though she knows the cancer inside her own body is ticking down her time.
I want to hear it from the man whose mind is slipping away to dementia, but who is letting his heart be liberated and shared with everyone around.
I want to hear it from the soldiers whose lives and loves flash straight in front of them on their way to pull a newly orphaned child from the rubble of one of our wars.
I want to hear it from the mother who has raised a hand to bless her child’s killer as her heart spills out on the floor.
I want to hear it from the addict who has just cursed God and everyone else yet yells the loudest at herself when the echo in the halfway house breaks the silence of her empty soul to make a space for the grace-filled gift.
I want to hear it from the stately Saint who spent a life of straight and narrow servanthood and remains faithful ‘til the final breath is drawn.
I want to hear it from the judgy church lady when the truth dawns that she’s sitting in a puddle of her own sin – soaked shame and everyone one else’s too.
I want to hear it from the self-conscious teenager who dares to face her fears and lead her peers in service and in prayer.
I want to hear it from the wife and mother who remains when all the world says “Go.”
I wanted hear it from the slave who sings more loudly and more richly than a bird born with freedom’s melody.
I want to hear it from the person of power that bends the knee in silent humble prayer.
I want to hear it from the one – armed trumpeter of peace in the war zone of their own destruction.
I want to hear it from the Jewish woman who sings to the Christian nursing home resident a song that moves the heart of the Hindu and the Muslim and the agnostic.
I want to hear it from the runner for the gold who stoops to lift a fallen competitor.
I want to hear it from the prophet on the edges who speaks a word of truth that no one wants to know.
I want to hear it from a black man who stretches out a hand to help a gay woman offer food to a white man who is having prayer with a yellow child and its red mother and a father who doesn’t have a label that he can read who comes from a family that can’t yet believe in the God who has always loved them.
I want to hear it from everyone who has found the empty place inside and knows that in the end it must be filled with the Love that only comes to the lowly, lame and lost.
I want to hear it from the dark and silent corners of my own soul.
I want to hear it from the ones who heard it from the ones who felt the straw and saw the star and knew the Mother’s love and heard the Baby cry on that very first Christmas of all.
(Watercolor art by Lester E. Potts, Jr., an artist with Alzheimer’s)