Thursday, December 24, 2009

Peace Transpires In A Most Unlikely Place

A most endearing story and one that I enjoy revisiting happened ninety six years ago in a foreign land. I remember the time I'd learned of this miraculous event, I sat reading alone in my dorm room at Houston Baptist University. The book, Silent Night by Weintrab, laid across my pillow and captured every strand of my attention and wound it into a taut ball of anticipation. Weintrab's words performed their miracle, of allowing me to experience the Christmas Truce of 1914 right there sprawled out on my little twin bed in Houston, Texas.

The British and German soldiers along the front in Belgium could see each other easily. They observed the other preparing to celebrate the same tradition...Christmas. In each others' trenches, candles, sprigs, and songs poured like honey...a song of a shining star on a silent night reached the ears of all on that now silent night. The soldiers slept that night knowing in their hearts a truce had been called.

Christmas morning, signs went up in crude English, "We no fight, you no fight," and then the most dangerous death filled place of the war, No Man's Land, became All Man's Land, where the two sides bared arms, arms full of beer, cakes, chocolate, sausages and tobacco.

The Christmas Truce of 1914 is the happy part of the story. The words that I read later tore me apart and even today when I think about the events that unfolded ninety six years ago my heart still aches and tears still cascade my cheeks. Because you see, the soldiers were done. They wanted a real truce. They learned that night that despite the differences of where they lived, the languages they spoke, that ultimately we are all human and have the desire to live.

Scores of soldiers on both sides refused to shoot at each other again. Some men did obey the order to fire, but only into the air. They had to be transferred to other parts of the war. They were put into different units, placed upon the front in areas where the Christmas Truce had not been observed...they were forced to continue the war.

Some celebrate Christmas and some do not. Whether you do or don't, you can not deny the awesome power of the Christmas Spirit. A belief of peace, a moment of mercy, a period of hope...this same spirit that halted a war ninety six years ago lives in me and could live in you as well, all you have to do is BELIEVE. Merry Christmas.

17 comments:

Jovan Gonzales said...

Well. Thanks to you I have to read ANOTHER book. Haha. That's such a neat story! Did you know there's a movie???I remember it. I think the difference is that it's Americans and Germans. Anyways. Thanks for that!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Kewel! Yes, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear & Joyeaux Noel (that one is in German & French) great movies ;)

Have a YUMMY Christmas!

TXsharon said...

I love this story. Thank you for reminding me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for my history lesson.
Hope you are enjoying your time off, from out lovely job. Ha!!!!

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Mrs. Cummings? Is that you? I will be dragging my feet next week and practically screaming when it's Sunday. I don't want to go back! Have you heard anything? Did they ship the boys somewhere else? I have this funny feeling that we might be going back to an empty school.

Anonymous said...

No I have not heard a word. I have pretty much stayed out of town this first week. I agree witht he dragging of the feet, I'm right there with you.
Hope you have a Happy New Year.
d

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Happy New Year to you too, dear!

Anonymous said...

You attended Houston Baptist University? Heard that Steve Doeung, his wife, and two younger brothers all are alumns of "Husky High". Don Young would be a good conduit for communications (that's how our kids contacted Santa Claus, you know!!), if you had any interest. Keep us readers posted in case you find out that "it's a small world after all". Happy New Year from the B.S. shale.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Dear Anon,
I did attend HBU, didn't graduate from there. I remember a rather friendly guy, Seilavon Doeung. I remember him well, because he was a groomsman in Eric and mine's wedding. Oh my...could it be?

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Dear Anon,
So weird that you made the connection and I didn't! Come to find out, the Seilavong Doeung I knew from attending HBU is Mr. Steve Doeung's brother...it is a small world! How KEWEL is that!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Winkie. Is it true that Eric and Seilavong still keep in regular contact by going on the annual Wild and Manly Women Hike? You never know about those Baptist boys!Are they gonna be part of your entourage riding into the B.S. shale? Give us plenty of warning so we can hide our non-manly women and wild chi'den, OK ;>)Happy New Year!!

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Dear Anon,
I'm not from Wink, I only live here. And it's not likely that those Baptist boys attended the hike, but I'm sure they keep in contact through other modes of communication.

The bikers coming to town are friendly and don't bite, there's no need to hide the women and children.

Happy New Year!

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