DownloadedFileAfter the sickening tragedy last week at the Connecticut elementary school, “peace on earth” seems distant and unfathomable.   Maybe for that reason, we cling to  prayer and longing with that much more tenacity because faith and the hope of the season, all that we have to oppose the hatred and evil in our midst, drives us to believe harder.  And that’s why every Christmas, I repost this piece that I composed 9 years ago after visiting Alexandria, Louisiana in early December for a conference.  Walking out to the downtown levee after dark to see the Red River that night, I saw on the far shore an illuminated display with lights spelling out the hopeful message “Peace on Earth.”  But that message shimmered eerily, upside down in reflection on the  Red River’s dark, rippling current: a captivating, disturbing image . 

Peace on Earth?

By David Pulling

November 2003

(Composed along the levee at Alexandria)

“Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife / And hear the angels sing!

–Edmund H. Sears

 

“Peace on Earth”

shimmering

upside down

 in lights’ reflection

on the dark, moon-dappled River.

Lord, we long to hear

 angels sing.

Save us

from

noise

and

men of  strife.

Rather

set peace aright

set our hearts aright

and

tune our ears

to hear

 angels sing.

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