12/21/08

Why Would They Sing?

I sat in the 2nd row pew of church and tried to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” over the crying baby in the row behind and my thoughts wandered to the angelic choirs, Hallelujah choruses drifting between stars like spun sugar to shepherds. Then I wondered: are there angels at every child’s birth? Not just the ones with smiling parents, but those greeted with heartache as well, leftovers of broken love, whose lives may not last longer than the ten minutes of their screaming breath, ringing in the ears of an unwilling mother. And those children brushed by war’s shrapnel, are angels heralding their births as well?

And if they do sing, what is the aria that welcomes a child? Does it hide them from our world? It must be a variation of that “Song of Redeeming Love” that we have felt before, a carol of grace that is “mighty to save” for His name’s sake, the reverent psalm that announced the Christ child’s birth, the last strains of the celestial before mortal eyes open.

It’s the song of heavenly hosts on Bethlehem’s silent night, when all of us fell on our knees and beheld our king, He that was born to give us our second birth, or rather another chance to hear the angels on high repeat what was once sung in royal David’s city.

edit- Spun, not spilled or powdered sugar.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the poetry Ivor; I can see your mind wandering through sacrament meeting. However, something didn't sit right with your description of an unwilling mother. What did you mean by that?

Sky said...

Nice. Ivor.

Duh. No mother is willing DURING childbirth. It's so painful that the mother wants to run back to the womb.

And stop posting if you don't have the guts to post your name. You're not welcome here if you're going to be such a baby.

Matthew R. Hall, Esq. said...

What about those teen mothers who accidentally get pregnant, only to secretly birth their children behind a dumpster while squatting in inch-deep garbage water?

That's probably an unwilling mother. Interesting point, Ivor. How celebrated are the dark, tragic births? Certainly when we see the big picture there is less tragedy, but even with the gospel the humanity is painful to think about.

iBo said...

Phew. I'm glad I waited around for someone else to explain "unwilling" it made sense to me at the time, but then I didn't know after our mystery friend asked.

Sky said...

This "mystery friend" is not a friend. It's an it because it's a cowardly mouse who refuses to grace us with a name--the worst kind of insult. We know it's not Katie in her innocent blogging, so I'm deleting all anon comments the next time you try to post, you commi-pink-o, creepo.

Chan said...

Sis. Morgan, I don't think calling someone a commi-pink-o creep-o is in keeping with the spirit of Christmas. Politically charged name-calling is distinctly New Years.

Sky said...

Hahahahaha I just took five Ibuprofen for my back, which hurts from snow shoveling, and you made me laugh so hard that it's now hurting again. Hahahahoha. But you're absolutely right. I'll wait 'till New Years to kick "it" off the blog. What would I do without you, Chan?

Katie said...

These annoying, always-changing fleshy fun things called bodies are something to celebrate about. Right?

So, even under the most devastating circumstances, I think every birth should be celebrated, even if it's just to rejoice in witnessing another spirit receiving his or her body.

Katie said...

By the way, Ivor, I like this part: drifting between powdered-sugar stars to shepherds. First I thought you were talking about sugar cookies. Then I read it again and liked it even more when I understood what you were really talking about.

Jack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacob said...

I have a confession: I am anonymous

Katie said...

Aha!

It's okay, Jacob--if it's a heartfelt apology, and your other anonymous comments weren't way out of line, they usually take back the name-calling.

Matthew R. Hall, Esq. said...

It's ironic that the Russian speaker was called a commie pink-o.

Chan said...

Ironic and very funny. Hello, Jacob. Merry Christmas. And Ivor, about those powdered sugar stars...?

Do spirits know what sort of conditions they're about to be born into? I wonder if being born into a crappy place is, for some, a chance to serve other spirits they knew for eons before. Sometimes I wonder if that's the deal my family made with my dad. He underwent a lot of lousy stuff growing up (no dumpsters or garbage water, though), little of which he passed on to us, like a generational sponge that sopped up a bunch of the dark. So maybe I was there when he was born.

iBo said...

Yeah, I know Chan. I'll replace it when I think of a better line. Good luck eh?

I should also admit: I've also posted as anonymous twice. Haha. Chinese communist.

But that's an interesting thought Chan. Do we pick our families that we are born into? Lucky draw? And if we win that lottery, then did we go and watch those families? And if we did watch the families then for how many generations did we watch these families?

Kaitlin said...

Ivor, I knew this was your piece as soon as I came to the word "aria."

I love to read something that gets me thinking, and this certainly did just that. Thank you.

Crystal said...

I love the fact that Jacob the anonymous one noticed right away that Ivor was trying to sneak poetry past us disguised as prose.

Katie said...

I think God chose the families we were born into, and that we were there for our families in our hard times, just as our children are watching us right now. You think maybe how we behaved in premortal life determined our earthly circumstances? I think so. It’s that way with talents.

Ever read the book on Joseph Smith written by his mother? I believe it explains his mother's grandfather, then mentions that God was watching their family for generations, before Joseph Jr. came into the picture. Now I'll go dig up a quote to back me up. But if I can't find it, know it's just my opinion.

I think the dead are busy, and the unborn are the angels helping us along the way.

But of course the dead would be helping us too...

P.S. I liked the powdered sugar part--once I knew what you were talking about.

iBo said...

thats such an ominous sounding sentence. "the dead are helping us". Maybe that's the hollywood in me talking.

But what about those families or rather lack of families that kids are born into? Did God choose those as well? Was that a punishment or reward for those that served well in the pre-existence?

Ok i have to admit two things.
1)Yes this was a poem disguised as prose. I guess it wasn't well hidden.
2)powdered sugar stars were borrowed from Bro. Babcock and his amazing talent. I'm using it till I can think of something better. I've got "stars like spilled sugar" now. Not the same.

Matthew R. Hall, Esq. said...

I believe that the family we were sent to--in most situations--was determined by how our desire to live like God in the pre-mortal realm. The more valiant we tried to live like God, I believe, the more likely we were to be placed in a situation where we would have the gospel. It gets sooooo complicated, and I don't know anything for sure, so I won't say much. I just believe that there are no accidents in where we are placed for whatever reason--be it something we need or something we need to do for another.