David Taylor came home from school sad and discouraged one day in early November. With tears rolling down his freckled cheeks, he told his mother that his teacher told him that he couldn’t sing in the Christmas program.
“She said that I am awful and that I sing too loud,” David explained between sobs.
David’s father was sitting in the living room reading the afternoon’s paper and overheard his son’s heartbreak. Mr. Taylor was indignant and furious. How could any teacher do this to a child?
Mr. Taylor decided to help his son learn how to sing. After dinner that night, he took David into the living room and had him stand beside the family piano. Mr. Taylor began to play the familiar melody of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”. As David opened his mouth, a cat-like screech came out.
“David, part of singing is listening. Listen … then sing,” instructed the patient father.
David’s second attempt was worse than his first! But when the father was tempted to give up, he thought of the unfeeling teacher and realized, “If a father doesn’t do this, who will?”
The days of November faded into December, while Mr. Taylor and David spent every evening at the piano going over and over and over the melody to the song. “Peace on the earth good will to men …”
When the day came that David sang for his teacher, she said that he could be in the program! David was front and center in the third-grade Christmas concert. He was angelic and on pitch as the song ended with the glorious thought, “The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing!”
On Christmas Eve, Mr. Taylor looked out the window and saw his pajama-clad boy in the front yard looking toward the sky.
The father quietly walked out the front door and put his arms around David without saying a word. The son leaned into his father’s chest and said, “The world is lying still, Dad. Just like the song says.”
“Do you hear them, Dad? Do you hear the angels singing? I hear them … do you, Dad?”
The father thought that he was teaching a little boy to sing a sweet song at Christmastime, but what had really happened was that the little boy had taught them both to listen … to listen for the angel’s song.
I’ve been reading the Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas Reading Plan at YouVersion.com. You might enjoy it, or one of the many other plans that are available. Check it out.