September 16, 2018 John Echols

Silent Night

Silent Night

December 16, 2:45 AM… The bedroom door opens and my daughter is now standing at the foot of the bed. “Dad, someone’s on the front porch and I just heard them outside my window.” My daughter’s bedroom is at the front of the house and our bedroom is at the back. I asked her if she was sure and she said, “Yes, it sounded like they were rummaging around and I heard footsteps outside my window.”

It was a calm, still night, so I dismissed the idea that it might be the fallen leaves being blown about by the wind. I grabbed my phone and went to the living room where I could peek out the front window and get a good look at the front porch. Nothing seemed amiss, but my daughter isn’t one to exaggerate, and given our proximity to a major road, I just didn’t want to take any chances.

So, at 2:47 AM, I placed the 911 call. Cool, calm, and collected came the female voice when the call connected. “What’s the address of your emergency?” she asked. I give her the location and then she asked what was going on. I relayed to her what my daughter had experienced. “We’ll send a car over now. Do you want the officer to contact you?” “Only if they find someone,” I said. And with that, the conversation was over.

Heading back into the bedroom, I found my side of the bed occupied. My daughter is brave and strong, but this had her rattled. I let her and my wife know that the police were on their way and to try and relax. I went back into the living room, peeking out again. A few minutes went by and the darkness was broken by the spotlight from the patrol car. Relief. Peace. A slow drive by and away they went into the night, to protect and to serve.

Back in the bedroom I asked my daughter and wife if they had seen the spotlight. “Yes!” Came the reply. My daughter scooted over and I climbed in (thank you king size bed!). I expected her to be with us all night, but a few minutes later, she’s crawling out and headed back to her room. “Are you okay to go back?” I asked. “I’m good,” she uttered, her voice not as shaky as it was when she woke me up.

As I was coming down from the adrenaline rush of the events and wondering if sleep was going to elude me the rest of the night, the last line of the Christmas standard, “Silent Night” came to mind, “Sleep in Heavenly Peace.” I thought about that and who that line is meant for. Mary and Joseph? The shepherds? No! It’s meant for you and me. The message of the angels? “Fear not! Christ the Lord is born this day!” Peace entered the world at that moment, but it wasn’t fully brought to bear until three words were uttered, “It is finished!”

For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in His own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. Ephesians 2:14 (NLT)

True peace. Lasting peace. Peace that comes only from Christ. Peace for you and me. I drifted off to sleep, safe and secure in the knowledge that my family is at peace because of what Christ brought to the earth, no matter what is happening on our front porch.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace.