Friday, December 08, 2006

The Forgotten Carols

This Christmas season I decided to reread a book that I haven't read in years. It's a beautiful book about Nurse Constance, who never wanted to be called Connie. She was given an assignment at Christmas time to care for an elderly man thought to be a bit 'off his rocker'. He asked her to call him Uncle John and he insisted on calling her Connie Lou. When she persisted that he call her Nurse Chamberlain or Ms. Chamberlain, he responded
"If I call you Nurse or Ms. or something equally distant and lonely, that's all you'll ever be to me. But Connie Lou . . .ah, there's someone worth getting to know."
As Uncle John and Connie Lou decorate the tree, John tells her the significance of each ornament. In the process, he shares the real story of Christmas and magically helps her become less lonely. There are beautiful songs woven into the story. The music and words for each 'Forgotten Carol' is included at the back of the book. We own the book, the book on tape and a tape of the carols. The book and songs are written by Michael McLean. A delightful story and beautiful songs.

One of my favorite parts of the book and the song tape is the story told of a young angel who tried out for the heavenly chorus that was to sing on the day of Christ's birth. He sang his little heart out. The Grand Chorus Master smiled and nodded to his chief assistant to show the little angel out.
"This isn't fair," he said, "If you could hear what is in my heart, you'd let me sing."
How many times have I felt that same way. In my heart the music is indeed beautiful, but it doesn't come out that way, at all. My heart just breaks for this little angel that I can so heartily identify with. The story goes on to tell how the angel pleaded with the Grand Master, while softly, at first, songs of hallelujahs began in the background.
"Oh, little one," the Grand Master said, "you have so much to give, and your time will come."

"Then I can't sing with the choir?" he looked for him to change his mind, but he only shook his head and smiled.

"You have a different voice, but it will be heard. Centuries from now it will be heard. More orchestras and choirs than you can now imagine will be giving the music of your heart a voice that will echo through time."
The songs of the Messiah began to swell in crescendo as a backdrop to this sad little scene. The angel still doesn't understand, but the reader does.

I read this book because I knew it's message would lift my spirits and as part of the G.I.F.T. Challenge hosted by Stainlees Steel Droppings. This is post 2 out of 4 for this challenge.


Christina said...

Thanks for the nice comment you put on my blog. I am so blessed by having you all out here thinking of me.

I have to check these out. I always read Christmas books around Christmas. It's kind of becoming a tradition for me. I buy tons every year and read them throughout Dec. then by Jan. 1 I pack them back into a basket I have and put them away for next Dec.

Lotus Reads said...

Wow, this really does sound like a wonderful and touching story, booklogged, I'm going to have to pick it up ( I hope I am able to get the book on tape)along with the other book about the magi that Les recommended! Thank you!

Framed said...

A friend gave me this book right after we had traveled to Roosevelt to see the stage production with Michael McLean. What great memories. There was even a baby in the audience who cried at exactly the right moment in the play. Quite magical. I really need to find my copy and read it again. Thanks for reminding me.

Carl V. Anderson said...

One of the things I like best about these challenges is finding out about books that I have not heard of before. Thanks for a great post and for sharing your Christmas spirit.

Booklogged said...

Christina, My mother gives each family a christmas book sometime in Dec. before Christmas, so we have many. I love getting them out and reading them or reading them to the grandkids.

Lotus, oh, The Gift of the Magi will make you cry. It's a sweet little story, a classic.

Framed, why did I not know the stage production was so close?! I would love to see it on stage. I really like the songs.

Carl, it is really fun seeing everyone's G.I.F.T. ideas.

Alyson said...

I have always loved this story and the music that accompanies it!