Since I can’t find any sort of contact information for him, I am just going to put this here… I have to put it somewhere, just to show him how grateful I am.

Dear Mr. Byrom,

                My name is Rebekah, and I’m 18 years old. Several months ago a good friend of mine introduced me to Celtic Thunder. I think I got through their entire YouTube channel in about two days. 🙂 Immediately you were my favorite member of the group. I love that operatic sound in your voice. As soon as I learned that you were no longer a member of Celtic Thunder I began to search around for your singles. I enjoyed them just as much, or perhaps even more, then listening to you in a group. I hope someday to be able to see one of your concerts. I love the passion with which you sing.

                On March 14th I was listening to some of my favorite Celtic Thunder songs when I learned of the death of George Donaldson. I’m sort of embarrassed to admit, that even though I had only been a fan for a few months, I cried off and on for that entire evening and the next day. I still sometimes cry when I think about it. For some time I could not listen to any of the Celtic Thunder songs. During this time I listened to a great deal of your music. I would close my eyes and force myself to focus entirely on your voice and forget everything around me. It was very therapeutic.  I can safely say it was your singing which got me through, and is still getting my through, mourning the loss of Mr. Donaldson. I want to thank you so much for that, even though I know you could have no idea it was doing so. I know it may seem odd to you that I am writing this to thank you, but your music meant so much to me and helped me so greatly, I had to tell you how thankful I am.

                May God bless you in every way,

                Rebekah

*edit* I have since found out that I can contact Mr. Byrom on his Facebook page. I can only hope now that he will see it.

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The Cardboard Box

“What is the object of this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must have a purpose or the universe has no meaning and that is unthinkable. But what purpose? That is humanity’s great problem to which reason so far has no answer.”
– Sherlock Holmes in The Cardboard Box

I’ve been meaning to make a post about this quote for some time, but never, until now, have I felt just quite brave enough to give it a whirl.
Here, in this quote, Sherlock Holmes asks the question that every person in their right mind has been asking since the dawn of time, and will go on asking, no doubt, until the end of time – what is the meaning of this seemingly meaningless life?
The first time I read The Cardboard Box I was either 14 or 15, I am not quite sure. I remember clearly enough how very disturbed I was by the whole story. The story is a rather macabre one, really – the two severed ears of the victims being sent, by the murderer, to the woman he blames for causing the trouble that ended in the killing of his wife and her lover. And then the quote at the end, where Sherlock Holmes, one feels almost speaking directly from the mouth of his creator, questions the meaning of life. I remember I felt very gloomy after reading it, and endeavored, by trying not to think about it or watch or listen to any of its adaptations, to forget about the story entirely. But I found that was not possible. It seemed to me no matter where I went in the Sherlock Holmes’ fandom that quote was not far behind. I could not escape it, and I wondered why. Then it occurred to me – they all sympathized with it, with those ever nagging questions of “why are we here?” and “what is it all for?” But why didn’t I sympathize with it? Well, that caused me to think quite a bit. But then, after a time, I realized the answer had been right under my nose the entire time. Because I know the answer. But what was so special about me, that I knew the answer and no one else seemed to? Well, when it comes down to it, there’s nothing special about me. In fact it doesn’t have anything to do with me at all. It’s Jesus. It’s all Jesus. Jesus is the meaning of life. He is the reason we’re here. He is what it’s all for. To glorify Him, to worship Him, and to share the Good News of His salvation with all of humanity.
It says it in some pretty cool ways in several places in the Bible. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 it says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter (sounds pretty Sherlockian, doesn’t it?): Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Puts it pretty succinctly, doesn’t it? Another place is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, where it says, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Here’s another one, Jesus actually said this one, in Luke 10:27. “And He answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” And of course there are more and more I could go on with, but I don’t want to go on for too long.
So that is why when I read that quote now I feel like grabbing the person who posted it in a hug and saying, “But there is, there is, there is a meaning in life! And I can show it to you! If you only believe!” If you only believe, that’s all it takes. And you will be so amazingly blessed, and you’ll know, you’ll really know, the meaning to life. I know I do.