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Perspective: Silent night, holy night

Gary Fultz

Last Monday night, I stepped into the frigid cold and stared into the dark sky. There it was, a brilliant full moon sitting atop the trees in my backyard. I wondered, had the moon come to shine just for me, my personal winter moon, offering me the thrill of its energy?

Suddenly, in that dark cold moment, I was struck by this thought -– this same moon I gazed on hung over the Middle East, over the entire region now inflamed in carnage, destruction and death. The moon dazzled me, sending shadows drifting across the frozen snow-covered gardens, creating winter beauty. Yet, in the Middle East, this same moon sent shadows over hungry, suffering people, mountains of destroyed homes, bombed out landscapes and the neve- ending war that robs the region of health, well-being and hope.

As I snuggle down into the warmth and comfort of my bed, I pray for all those in the midst of this war, living on the edge of a knife, cold, abandoned and desperate. I pray for mothers without children, children without families. I confess the killing and carnage baffle me. I do not understand how or why any human would wage such violence against another.

I don’t know enough about Palestine and Israel to understand the issue, I only know this: Long ago, a legend was created that taught only love, mercy and forgiveness can save people and end conflict.

Now as the season extends itself, may the words of the beloved song find a place in hearts everywhere, Silent Night, Holy Night… Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Lou Ness has been working in service to people for decades. She has headed church-based programs in Rockford and served as Director of the Rockford Police Chaplains Program. She was an early pioneer in the domestic violence community.