Repost from December 11, 2011

Christmas Caroling

image courtesy of

I think about her sometimes… more often around this time of year. A Christmas hasn’t passed, nor I guess ever will, that her memory doesn’t return like clock work. A few nights ago, right on cue, my family talked about Danielle and the Christmas  caroling incident.

While I love music and enjoy singing, I don’t do it too much in public. When I sing at church it’s not very loud. So I’m not sure what came over me… Well I guess I do… It was God, but it’s out of character for me you know, to be sensitive to His spirit, then actually being obedient, especially when it puts me in an uncomfortable situation.

God laid on my heart to assemble some friends and family to go to Danielle’s house and sing. Yeah, I could hardly believe it myself, but I tried to get as many people as possible to cover my voice or the lack thereof.

It’s not like me to plan too far ahead and this was no different. It was a Thursday we decided to do it. To get set up for the following evening didn’t account for other people’s previous engagements.

I’m fascinated by the groups of people God assembles to do His bidding. Of course, the obedient ones are always the ones who need and get more from the actions than the one we perceive in need.

We have some family friends who happened to have music or lyrics sheets for us to use. There were business associates, (yeah, I remember your singing Tom!). There were friends who were relatively new Christians or prodigals, finding their way back home.

Mostly they were my Lacrosse girls, just about an hour and a half after a grueling Friday practice and the rest of my family. I’m also fascinated the way things never seem to work out the way we plan them. Proof that we’re not in control…

Danielle lived with her single mom and her grandparents in a small humble home northwest of where we live. She attended another of our close family friend’s church on occasion. Danielle was about nine years old and in the middle of her treatment of chemo and radiation treatment for cancer.

When we finally found her house it was way past dusk, but we knew a good part of the songs by heart. To say many of us felt uncomfortable would be a significant understatement. Thank God literally for the Lacrosse girls, many of whom had spent a great deal of time in Choir at school.

When Danielle and her family heard us outside, her mom insisted we all come inside… Gulp… An indoor caroling concert. About twenty of us squeezed into the tiny living room like sardines.

We presented Danielle with a present and began to sing to the little girl with no hair on her head. The family was kind and genuine as they accepted the small gift of songs, the little we had to offer.

After several songs Danielle began to look tired as she gazed at the floor. We exchanged our “Merry Christmas”‘ and “God Bless You’s,” as we began to file out, very few dry eyes in that home.

That was Danielle’s last Christmas… God took the little girl home to be with Him for the rest of her Christmas celebrations.

I can’t say the memory of Danielle and our Christmas caroling incident is a happy memory, in fact, it brings back similar emotions of that night years ago, but I can say I know for sure God used our discipline in trying to care for His other children to bless our lives and change our hearts.

In the end…

Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?