Twenty years ago, New York City was still recovering from 9/11. New Yorkers were more aware of one another and were quicker to apologize as we bumped into each other, especially on crowded trains or sidewalks. Nevertheless, everyone was tense, edgy, and nervous. As the days grew shorter, the air was still filled with the relentless pungent smell coming from the site. The scent remained after textiles were washed numerous times. It seemed to penetrate my very soul.
As Christmas drew near, I was sitting in a partially empty subway car that was heavy with silence, broken only by the loud clickity-clack of the train in the tunnel as it swayed on its way towards its next stop. We were all alone with our thoughts as we traveled together, missing the usual sounds people make chatting, laughing, panhandling, or babies crying.
The interior connecting door of the car suddenly opened, and a handsome, casually dressed young man entered singing, “Silent Night, Holy Night” with his beautiful, professionally trained tenor voice; his expressive eyes connecting with everyone as he slowly walked from one end of the car to the other. Hearing him sing this beloved carol filled me with calmness and a sense of hope for the first time in three months. I reflect on this every December and am grateful that he passed through my life for a brief moment and reminded me of the hope we have for the person the carol is about – Jesus.
Shared by Karen Reynolds