Can it be? Is it possible? Heads rise, eyes light in unimaginable hope, and hearts ache with their retreating numbness. The air is alive with possibility, and the song of the angels comes closer to human hearing. Can it be?
The old woman looks up. Racked with the pain of her stiffening body, she has struggled for years to turn her labour into prayer. But it has become so hard. She no longer has the strength to do anything for anyone else, it takes all that she is just to tend to her own survival. Her world has grown so small that she can no longer see the glory, and she is overwhelmed by weariness. But now .. can it be?
The child cries. Her parents have died from a cruel disease, and the older children tease her. Once her mother had held her tight and sung tenderly to her, and she had felt safe and loved. Her mother had prayed for her, with gentle tears. But now her mother’s bones are in a hole in the ground, and the hot sun beats remorselessly on her village. There is famine again, and she will be the last to get any food. She longs for someone to care for her and keep her safe. But now .. can it be?
The boy remembers when he used to care for his family’s cattle, it was not an easy life, but it was a happy life. There was listening and sharing and understanding, and the excitement of knowing that one day he would be tall and strong like his father. But then the soldiers came and raided his village, and he and his friends were taken away to be trained in the jungle. They were beaten, and made to march for miles, and forced to do horrible things if they wanted to be fed. Some of his friends have been killed. Soon it will be his turn to die. But now .. can it be?
The man sighs wearily and raises his eyes from the paperwork. The hardest thing he had ever had to do was face his wife and tell her he had lost his job. He has tried everything, and can barely find enough money to put food on the table. Their child is sick, and the medicine expensive. And now they are going to lose their house. For the thousandth time, he prays for a miracle. But now .. can it be?
The young aid worker leans against the doorway, brushing aside a futile tear. So much death, so much waste, so much poverty; so much rage and frustration and helplessness. With the last drops of emotion she has left, she flings her anguished why towards the dusty clouds. But now .. can it be?
The scientist scowls at the computer read out. The toxicity levels are beyond his worst estimate. How could this fertile valley have become the domain of death? Why must it always be like this: ruin and destruction and horror? Is it not enough that man is always at war with his own soul? Must he always be at war with the world around him as well? But now .. can it be?
Hope stirs again where hope was vanquished. The deserts burst into flower and the slaves raise songs of redemption. Glory lights up the shadows and the dead return to life. A fresh wind blows, whispering “He is coming!” There are tears of wonder and joy, but now the time is at hand when all tears are wiped away. And a voice speaks from heaven, penetrating as a trumpet, “Behold, I make all things new!”