It was a P. Graham Dunn creation made in America, and I thought it was beautiful. P. Graham Dunn is one of my favorite styles of Christian art. The simple Christmas plaque with lyrics set against a soft blue background struck a chord with me. The song that brings us comfort in our chaotic world is one of our nation’s most beloved Christmas carols. It has been sung by countless choirs and congregations since the words were written by Joseph Mohr in the early 1800s. I purchased the wall hanging, though I needed no pretty plaque to remember the song. Its words are in my head, its message in my heart. Christmas Day always brings to a close the sound of carols for another year. I thought I had heard it for the last time on Christmas Day 2012. But, I had not.
It was New Year’s Eve. I surfed the television channels, stopping on the Fox Cable Network. Halfheartedly, I watched the coverage as the new year arrived. It was America’s party night—a time to celebrate new beginnings, new goals, and new opportunities. As the midnight hour approached, it was time to close the chapter on another year. I tuned out on performers I did not know and songs I did not understand. Then, I heard the familiar. I stopped what I was doing and watched—and listened.
The crowd was quiet as those familiar words were sung by a name I could not remember, but whose voice I could not forget. She was classy in a long, flowing black dress to complement her beautiful long, black hair. With the midnight sky as the backdrop, her crystal clear voice rang out in the wintry night air. I was amazed. There she stood on stage in New York City’s Time Square on New Year’s Eve singing “Silent Night.” Her name is Sarah Brightman. The world-renowned soprano’s magnificent voice seemed to reach as high as the heavens. With each word, the song of old called out to everyone today to hear its message of comfort and hope and joy. It was wonderful! America’s celebration of the new year climaxed in Sarah Brightman’s flawless rendition of “Silent Night”—as the world watched.