Heaven and Angels Sing

Morning Story and Dilbert

At the Christmas Eve church service, I sat with my two boisterous grandchildren, ages three and five. Their parents sat in front of the church to present a nativity reading titled “Silent Night.” They had warned the children to behave. I had warned the children to behave. With scrubbed angelic faces and Christmas wonder in their eyes, they looked like model children posing for a magazine holiday spread. I indulged myself in a few moments of pride.

Alec pinched Aubrey. I was grateful that the organ thundered into the first hymn just then, drowning out her yelp. I grabbed her hand before she could return the pinch. During the Lord’s Prayer, Aubrey shredded the program I had given her to color on. The crayons had already rolled under the pew. I watched bits of paper fall on the carpet like snow. I would help her pick it up later, but for now the naughtiness I was allowing kept her occupied and her brother quietly admiring.

We were enjoying an uneasy truce when their parents stood to deliver the reading.

“Mommy!” Alec yelled.

She frowned, and he sat back in his seat.

“Silence,” my son said to the congregation. “Think for a moment what that word means to you.”

My daughter-in-law signed his words. Earlier that year, she began to use her new signing skills for the benefit of the few hearing-impaired members of our church.

Alec said a naughty word, thankfully too low for many to hear. I scowled at him, shaking my finger and my head. Aubrey grinned. Then she proclaimed, every syllable enunciated perfectly, in a clear voice that carried to far corners of the sanctuary, “Alec is a potty mouth!”

Everyone stared. I was too stunned to speak. My son and his wife looked at each other. But instead of anger, I saw surprise.

My son set aside his script and told another story. He told about their daughter being born profoundly deaf. He talked about four years of hearing aids and speech therapy with no guarantee she would ever learn to speak plainly. He talked about the rugged faith that kept the family praying she would have a normal life.

He said Aubrey’s outburst was an answer to prayer: the first perfectly enunciated sentence she had ever spoken.

From the back of the room, a lone voice sang the last line of a beloved Christmas Carol: Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king.

While the congregation sang four verses of the unscheduled hymn, my two little angels wiggled in their parents’ arms, adding laughter and giggles to the joyful Christmas noise.

By Carol Stigger
  1. seeker57 said:

    I love this post. Thank you. May I share it with my family in the facebook?


  2. Wonderful. Being the parent of a hearing impaired child I understand the joy you all felt. Blessings to you and your family.


  3. Great story! I remember having trouble with Christmas Eve services growing up. I was not a Christian till 30 and was always forced to go to them by my grandparents and family. Since becoming a Christian I love them sometimes attending at least two services in an evening willingly wearing a suit lol! Thanks for the post hope you and your family have a great Christmas!


  4. Stories about children seem to always have the element of surprise. This is such a surprise and what a blessing!


  5. Great story…a miracle in the midst of children being naughty. Amazing love….Christmas Joy!


  6. A reminder to step back and see the balance of things in life.


  7. **Simple and positive . Point made in a very nice way. Very timely in this season. Thanks as always for sharing…


  8. R. Fowler said:

    That brought a tear to my eye. Out of the mouth of babes….


  9. G’day Kenny,
    Thank you for your inspiring site – keep up the good work.
    Thanks for visiting my site.
    God bless, cowboy up and keep the brands hot!


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