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"To Hear the Angels Sing"

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
December 23, 2022 3:01 am

"To Hear the Angels Sing"

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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December 23, 2022 3:01 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, when Kent was just 9 years old, he had a very special experience that, many years later, he can’t seem to shake.

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Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb
Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb

Of course I know how to make parmesan crusted salmon. It'll be the best you've ever had.

See you tonight. You know you can't cook. I know.

Even boiling water is a struggle for you. I know. What were you thinking?

I wasn't. What am I gonna do? Oh honey, just go for Grubhub and tell him the truth. You make it sound so easy. Uh yeah, it is. The food will arrive before he does and he'll be so impressed with your ordering skills that all will be forgiven.

I think you're on to something. I am. Go for date night deliciousness. Go for Grubhub.

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To learn more, visit This clip is brought to you by Coca-Cola. The holidays always find a way.

It's about enjoying the real magic of the season by surrounding yourself with good friends and family, delicious food, and of course, an ice cold Coke. This is our very first episode as Locatora Radio for the Michael Tura Network. We're beyond thrilled.

We're in a legitimate studio space and we have not seen the inside of one of these in many years. Coca-Cola, proud partner of the Michael Tura Podcast Network. Listen to new episodes of your favorite Michael Tura shows available on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. And we're back with our American Stories and with another Christmas story for our Christmas month where we celebrate the season, well, all month long. Up next, we have a listener's story from Kent Hansen. When Kent was just nine years old, he had a very special experience that, many years later, he can't seem to shake.

Here's Kent with his story entitled To Hear the Angels Sing. We do our Christmas shopping late this December. My parents' work, church, school programs, and family obligations conspire to keep us away from the stores of downtown Santa Cruz until the night before Christmas Eve. It is the one time a year when I see my dad shop for anything but groceries. After parking by the J.C. Penney store, we go our separate ways for a couple of hours. Mom hands me a five dollar bill. By carefully allocating this fortune, I will buy small presents for my mom, dad, brothers, and sister.

My trade route is the same as always. Woolworth's, stationery store, music store, and the bookstore. In the back seat on the way home, I press my face against the window to look at the lights, the trees, and the dark, empty fields whose fences and contours I know by heart.

The full moon lights up the clear night, a rarity on the coast of central California. The talk in the heater-warmed car is of family and friends. Snatches of carols and songs are sung. My brother Terry, home from boarding school, tells stories of his adventures there. Large and small, we fit together in that moment like the pieces of one of those Chinese block puzzles. Yet the full moon, bright but distant overhead, whispers to me in the secrecy of my heart, stirring a longing ache that says, you are Kent.

There are places beyond where only you can go, and only you can know. Dad stops at a Christmas tree lot. There are only a few misshapen trees huddled in a corner this close to Christmas. Dad holds them out one by one and spins them around for mom to inspect.

Her criterion is the opportunity for concealment. This one will be okay if we put the side missing branches in the corner as our final judgment. A few crumpled dollar bills change hands, and we are on our way again. It is late, around 9 30 p.m., when we roll up the pothole dirt road and crunch into the gravel driveway alongside our white house on the hill surrounded by pastures and fields. Mom and brother gather up their bags and hurry inside for wrapping and hiding. Dad pulls the fir tree out of the trunk and carries it into the house. In the bustle, I slip away to the end of the driveway and around the tall privet hedge that shelters the north side of the yard.

The wind off the ocean is fresh and rising. It spins the tin blades of the windmill atop the old weathered tank house with a steady rhythm of clicks and creaks. Reaching inside the darkened barn door, I brush away spiderweb yuck and fumble for the sugar cubes in a box on a shelf. I pop one, sharp edged and sweet, inside my mouth and take three more to the gate where my Welsh pony, Peanuts, stands in silence. I call his name and hold out a cube through the slats. He softly wickers in recognition. His warm breath grazes my palm. His white blaze stands out of my nose as he brings his head up over the gate looking for more sugar.

I feed the pony one cube at a time. I stroke his muzzle and scratch his ears before walking back out to the driveway. I squint to look at the moon through the branches and needles of the big pine in the corner of our yard. Stepping out in the middle of the road, I raise my arms to evoke shadow angel wings in the moonlight.

Then I stand still to orient myself to the night. Above the wind, I can hear the rolling boom of the breakers in Monterey Bay about a mile away to the south and west. Turning to the northeast, I can see the swelling rise of Loma Prieta, which means dark hill in Spanish.

It dominates the ridge line of the Santa Cruz Mountains. I keep turning to take in this truth. I tell myself, all of these, the hills and the slews that run down to the sea, the wind and the trees, the ocean waves, the people behind the lights in the house, my pony, the stars and the moon, are part of me. And yet, I think stretching out my arms wide, there are too many wonderful things to hold.

And to grasp one of them is to put down another. But I want all of this night, in some and in parts, stored in my heart forever. Then I run out onto the field, sprinting into the wind, pushing against it, trying to become part of it. The moon is behind me, over me, it's light around me, my shadow is in front of me and I cannot quite reach it and cannot pass it. I run after it anyway. When I reach the eucalyptus windbreak on the far edge of the field, my shadow is subsumed in the sheltered dark of the grove. I draw up quickly and turn slowly in circles, gasping in the chill air. I am alone on the edge of my known world, on the border between the black bulk of the trees and the moon limbed field.

The lights of home look far away and tiny. Are they looking for me yet? Do they care, I wonder? It's more important right now that I be here than anywhere else, but why? It is now that I hear the angels sing. The killdeer I've scattered during my dash across the field pipe their shrill calls to regroup. The eucalyptus trees groan and bend over to talk to each other in the wind.

The breakers add faint percussion. My own beating heart and breathing meld in. The sounds of creation surge and echo around me with a deep resonance. Angel wings are stirring the wind, moving through the night, bringing light to the darkness, arranging the world for the pleasure of the creator. The full moon silvers the night with a shining luster. In the glory and mystery of the incarnation itself, one little odd curious nine-year-old boy who refuses to accept things as they seem is told, God is here and you know what?

He really loves you. When I finally go to bed that night and close my eyes, the moonlight still glows, the wind still blows, and angel songs echo the lyric, God loves you, Kent. I know that I will never again be afraid of the dark. Do you say, why why I have never heard such a thing, so how could it be? You will never hear the angels sing if you don't listen. They can't be heard with ordinary ears, but only through an open heart. The angels will never sing for you if you just stay in the house doing busy things.

If I had not heard this for myself, I would not tell you that it is so. The shepherds heard the angels first, you know. They were out on the hills, in the wind, under the stars, watching their sheep in the night. An angel showed up and told them, good news for you. Down in the village this very night, a baby is born who will change everything.

The baby is God in the flesh come to save you, a God who is with you. Then more angels poured out of the sky. You can read this for yourself in the Gospel of Luke, but those angels didn't leave.

They are still hanging around out there, but as I said, you'll have to go outside if you want to hear them sing. So step outside this Christmas night. Look up to the sky.

Open up your heart. Be still and listen. Listen for the singing angels.

And a terrific job on the production and editing by our own Madison Derricotte and my goodness, a touch of the poet. My shadow is ahead of me. I cannot reach it. I cannot catch it.

I try anyway. The sounds of creation surge within me with a deep resonance. This curious nine-year-old boy who refuses to accept things as they seem hears God loves you. Last Kent says the angels will never sing if you stay in the house doing busy thing.

A beautiful story about all the things that matter in life around this Christmas season here on Our American Stories. When the world gets in the way of your music, try the new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, next-gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears. They use exclusive Bose technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you, delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound so you can hear and feel every detail of the music you love. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, sound shape to you.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-23 04:15:25 / 2022-12-23 04:20:35 / 5

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