THE BLOG
12/23/2014 10:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Gift Within the Gift

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O Holy Night, Sue Shanahan 2014

"To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth... is potentially to have everything." ― Joan Didion

"O Holy Night" is my very favorite Christmas song, although, I never gave it much thought until I heard Mariah Carey sing it. Her version was so beautiful a chill traveled up my spine to the top of my head. Her voice made me really listen to the lyrics for the first time. They were stunning, and they made me wonder.

"O holy night the stars are brightly shining.

It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Until He appeared and the soul felt its worth."

Before the birth of Christ, the world muddled along in darkness. Humanity didn't have the awareness or power to live any other way. Yet their hearts longed for more. The line, "Until He appeared and the soul felt its worth" connects the Nativity to the realization of who we are. We were valuable enough to have the son of God incarnate on our behalf. Mankind had been given a twofold gift. With the birth of Jesus came a power and energy like the planet had never seen. On top of that, we were given the grace to know we were worthy to receive it. The cage door had been flung open, and we had the self-worth to reach and take the hand offered to us. We needed a Savior and the world has never been the same since the day He appeared.


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Text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved. www.sueshanahan.com