Thursday, June 4, 2015

And the joy was heard

I don't particularly like hockey. Indeed, I don't quite know what is going on. But this much I understand:  it is not all about ice and a puck.

Several years ago after my husband and I had moved back to Chicago, we were out for a walk on an early summer night after supper.  Block after block in our neighborhood, windows were wide open to let in the cool evening breezes.  As we walked through town, we also noticed a large number of televisions turned to high volume, surrounded by adults and even small children long after their bedtimes. We could see flickering lights on living room walls.  And that was when we first heard the roar.

I looked at my husband.  "What was that all about?"

He just smiled, "The Black Hawks just scored."

We didn't even have to turn on our television to know how the Black Hawks were doing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  We could hear the wild cheering from our neighbors' homes. There was the sound of great rejoicing, coursing down the streets.  And often after we had already retired for the night, about midnight or so, the sound of a firework or two would penetrate the darkness.

"Black Hawks must have won," we would recognize from our bed.

Our next door neighbor had Black Hawk jerseys of every size and style, hanging on her clothesline for weeks, like prayer flags blowing in the early summer breeze.

The Black Hawks won the playoffs in 2010, that first year we heard the roar, and then again in 2013.

We live in a different city now, so far away in distance and culture, and so much has transpired in our lives since that time.  But last evening as I worked on some correspondence, I felt compelled to turn on the television for the first game of  the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.  It was not so much to watch the squirmishes on the ice, but to listen to that familiar roar of the crowd all the way from Chicago.

I needed that.

I could hear our neighbors once again, their thundering joy right through our windows.

And it made me smile from afar.

And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.  (Nehemiah 12.43)

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