1944 ~ A War Christmas Story

Today I want to share a beautiful and uplifting Christmas story that my family often
listens to on Christmas morning.

It is a true story told by Michael Ballam on his “Music and the Mind” CD.

Most of the world was in turmoil on Christmas Eve, 1944. World War II was being fought and in addition to fighting in Europe, America was fighting in the South Pacific, which is where this story takes place.

On each night of the week that preceded Christmas Eve in 1944, a lot of American lives had been lost while trying to hold an island in the South Pacific. Being foreigners, the  Americans were at a disadvantage because they didn’t know the area or terrain. The Japanese, though, knew the island well and had a distinct advantage, especially at night. On each of those nights prior to that Christmas Eve night the Japanese would stealthily find their way into position where the destruction of the American troops was certain.

GIs who kept journals recorded their thoughts that Christmas Eve. They wrote down how it felt that night, knowing that it may likely be their last on earth. They climbed into their foxholes, and as a lovely reminder of home and Christmas’ past, some of them even hung stockings on their bayonets. And they waited just as they had waited each night for the past week for the stroke of midnight, gun shots, and death.

But this night would be different even though it started out very much the same. As the sun went down and the moon came up they heard the stealthy steps of the enemy approaching, positioning themselves, and preparing to fight.

Some soldiers began to pray. Some began simply to think and wonder.

As midnight was about to strike, from one of those foxholes, a beautiful voice was heard singing this song:

At first it was one voice singing, next a duet, then a trio, and finally a chorus.  It was followed by “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and ended with “Silent Night.” Three Christmas hymns brought that evening to a silent close. It was a silent night. Not a gun was fired.

“Why?”

“What caused those two opposing forces, to at least for a moment have
peace on earth and good will toward men?”

Michael Ballam asks the above questions, and then explains that “in those beautiful Christmas songs is a secret ingredient. That secret ingredient is love and it lives in divine music. When it is present hate and envy and resentment and bigotry cannot exist. Light is stronger than dark and love is stronger than hate.”

I have heard several other similar war stories that have ended with silent nights, all because of beautiful music ~ either vocal or instrumental. The hearts of enemies had been touched by Godly-inspired music and the miracle of the light of Christ. It can happen today in our world of commotion as well, if people are willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and embrace the light that Christ offers. Our Savior, Jesus Christ is the Light of the World and divine influence comes from God through Christ to give life and light to all things.

My hope is that as we celebrate Christmas around the world we will each have the spirit of Christmas and the light of Christ in our hearts and in our lives so that we can embrace others with love and good will.

Do any of you know of an uplifting Christmas story that can be shared?
If you do, I would love to post it on this blog.
Please send me a message in the comments section below
or the “Contact Me” link at the top or bottom of this page.

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