“It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid.” — 1984 Band Aid song “Do they know it’s Christmas?”
Two weeks ago, I was just getting ready to take my youngest daughter to school when the song from my high school years, “Do they know it’s Christmas?” came on the radio. As a nation, we are still stunned and reeling from the shootings in a Connecticut elementary school, and I thought of the irony of its opening words, “It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid.”
The massacre caps an already traumatic year, with a devastating hurricane on top of one of the worst economic downturns in recent memory, which has reverberated loudly throughout our own homes.
And then I realized that the words of the song are true. Indeed, there’s no need to be afraid.
Many things happen in life that are beyond our control, beyond our comprehension. I think of those sweet, innocent children and loving adults in Connecticut, and I feel like weeping, ready to give up. Yet we need to honor their memory by not allowing ourselves to be defeated by evil.
Evil exists in the world, but so does good. Like a beacon on a hill, good, light and love will always prevail.
At church this Sunday, I sat beside a friend who is mom to children ranging from young elementary to high school age. She and her husband adopted their youngest daughter.
I don’t know the circumstances of that adoption. I only know that whenever I see them together, my admiration for my friend and their family — opening up their hearts and home to this sweet little girl who needed a good family — soars to the heavens. Especially when I see that little girl come up to her mother for a hug and a kiss, or when I hear her call out in a sweet voice, “Mom.”
I needed to see that, as reaffirmation that love is a gift that we can give to others, and we get back tenfold. That there are people who do care for children and want to do their best to help them in today’s world.
I think of this when I see music teachers at the junior high school work patiently with their students, so the children can learn to play beautiful carols together. Or when I see children at a community event re-enacting the Nativity scene, singing with gusto and blinking like owlets from the stage into a darkened gym.
My heart is filled with sadness for Newtown, Conn., but also gratitude that there are still pure things in the world. A child’s guileless expression, a mother’s love, a family’s circle.
There’s no need to be afraid.
Love shall overcome everything — hurricanes, a bad economy, senseless shootings, anything that might come our way. Let us look for the good and spread it around to all the corners of the world.
This Christmas, let us draw hope from the simple yet powerful message brought to us so many centuries ago at the birth of a tiny little baby in a humble manger: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill to all men.”
Merry Christmas to one and all.
Jewel Punzalan Allen is a memoir writing coach and a long-time journalist who lives in Grantsville. She blogs at pink-ink-pink.blogspot.com.