As hard as it is sometimes for me to get up for weekday cardio and training, it always amazes me when I wake up bright, even early, on the weekends. This morning, I woke up around 3:20 a.m., probably excited about our upcoming trip to NYC. I flipped through the TV and stopped on Fox News Huckabee show. I don’t usually watch Fox News, but since we are taking Mom to a Huckabee taping – thank you, Heather Price -I thought I’d check it out.
The show closed with a Christmas song from Richard Marx, who I remember as singing some really sappy love ballads in the late 1980s. But it’s not Richard Marx that got me up to prepare a post this early — I started this post at 4:00 a.m. — but the Christmas song he sang, O Holy Night. O Holy Night has long been a personal favorite, and a particular performance years ago still gives me chills when I think about it.
Many years ago, our family attended the Christmas Eve services as First Presbyterian Church downtown. I remember that the lights were low, so maybe it was a candlelight service. After a Scripture reading, a young gentleman made his way to the podium. He was probably about 30, dark hair, handsome. He struggled to get to the podium because he had what I assume to be multiple sclerosis; he struggled to walk and his arms were partially immobile. I was unsure what to expect.
Once he got to the podium and settled in, it was as quiet as a pin. I was waiting for the music to begin when out came what had to be one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. Without so much a quiver in his voice, he delivered the most incredible version of O Holy Night I’ve ever heard, a capella. It brought tears to my eyes, and when I recall the story to others, sometimes it still does.
I can’t remember the date of the service, but I remember the experience clearly; it was one of those life-changing moments. I grew up in church, but like many people, I still have questions when it comes to matters of faith. But when I heard that voice, I got chills up my spine. Even though that singer faced a horrible disease that had ravaged his body, God blessed him with the voice of an angel. And to this day, not a time goes by that I don’t think of him when I hear O Holy Night.
When writing this, it occurred to me that I might know who this is. For years, I worked the polls with Linda Suber, who was very active First Pres member. Every election, a man similar to the one I described came in, and he and Linda always chatted. I wonder if that could be him? I’d love to let him know what his performance has meant to me.