Do you hear what I hear, ringing through the sky? A song, a song ringing through the trees, with a voice as big as the sea.
It is the song of hope resounding, hope wrapped in wonder—the immensity of Divinity alighting to the earth, to our hearts. It haunts and proclaims in whispers a goodness not unlike pure light.
It carries weight, this light of hope, and bears down upon the conscience of the world, drawing hearts unto itself. The invasion of such a glory, stretching the finite into a working kingdom of light; shards splintering into our everyday.
Do you hear what I hear, ringing through the sky? It fills up the firmament, pressing out the air with holiness, so much so that our vision tears beholding the ranging stars. How they glimmer to the sound, to the song, to the ringing.
I am so aware of you, O God, as I crunch the frozen tufts beneath my feet. Each step echoes in the great hall of your kingdom—a kingdom not of this world, yet throughout its very foundations and structures. I inhale and tremble, for you are my breath. I gaze above and quake, for the heavens drip you into my mind’s eye.
I throw up my arms in surrender, for fear of my life! Have I not beheld the glory of the Lord? Has he not unveiled himself before me? Woe is me! I am utterly undone and forever damned!
But what is this I find, a child with a sword, an infant dipped in blood, the horses of heaven delivering him from the very depths of the sanctus tremendum?
Who is this I find, a ragged man, healer and friend of the poor?
Who is this I find, the vagabond wanderer of heaven, crying for me in a garden?
Who is this I find, a friend and confidant, the interrupter of my death sentence?
Who is this I find, the slaughtered lamb, the one screaming for me though iron and wood invade his flesh?
Do you know what I know? A child, a child shivers in the cold, let us bring him silver and gold. Let us bring him all of ourselves.
Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.