Summary: Message has information regarding the unusual Christmas Truce that took place during trench warfare fighting of World War I between French & German soldiers on Christmas. Second message has information about a man who comes out of a coma, or what people t
It was the winter of 1914, hardened German soldiers were living in their dreaded World War I trenches upon the first advent of winter in a war that was about to become the most hostile the world had ever known. Despite the pain of cold, wind, rain, and inclement weather, despite the barbed wire, landmines, machine guns, and deadly poison gas, the German army began to do something…something special. They decorated their trench for Christmas. With some small evenly cut trees with a handful of lit candles, the German troops began what millions in their nation had done for years on December 24th, prepare for the coming of the Lord.
Just a couple of hundred feet away, in a strategically drawn trench by the enemies France and England, singing could be heard. Stille Nacht, otherwise known as Silent Night, was being sung so loud that the Allied forces were overcome with joy. Upon hearing the German army singing out Christmas Carols, the Brits longing for easier days in the hills surrounding London, Wales, or Wherever also began to sing. At first, there was friendly competition based on volume, until both sides sang in unison, each in their native tongue.
What happened next was unprecedented in the annals of war history. Ignoring the direct orders to find the enemy army and destroy it, both sides ventured out of their trenches and celebrated Christmas, together. Standing in “No Man’s Land,” not far from the Ypre River in Belgium, both sides exchanged handshakes rather than bullets. They gave each other gifts, jam, chocolate, other items. At one front the men engaged in a friendly game of soccer using their rifles as stand up goals. As these two Christian nations followed their commanders’ orders to fight a war based on meaningless land and political prestige, the soldiers worshipped the Lord.
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told,” as it is written in Luke chapter 2.
For many, 2009 was a tough year. It was for my family. And though we may not be living in a trench surrounded by enemy gunfire, at times it may feel so. Though there is no magical prayer for the evaporation of pain, there is a savior, his name is Jesus. Perhaps we could learn a lesson from the wary World War I soldier, a lesson that teaches us that in times of great trial, we too should worship the Lord.
On the night of December 24th, 1914, there was no gunfire, there were no bombs, no poison gas, and for just a brief period of time, no pain. Amidst great hardship and anguish, both sides put aside their years of aggression to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. It truly was a Silent Night.
Rom Houben was in a near fatal car accident in 1983 that left him diagnosed comatose and in a near-vegetative state due to the serious head and brain injuries he sustained. It seemed all hope was lost for this Belgium college student, as decades passed on many people questioned the doctor’s decisions by suggesting that he be unplugged and allowed to die in peace.
Then about three years ago, doctors working the case used a state-of-the art technologically advanced system to study the brainwaves of this man who once had a great love for the martial arts. When they peered into their analysis by popping the waves up on the computer, the results were jaw-dropping. The brainwaves of Rom Houben looked parallel to the brainwaves of any normal, full-functioning adult. It was then that the doctors realized with great and horrible truth—Houben was NOT in a coma, he WAS in a full body paralysis. His brain had been active and full functioning for 23 long years.
For the last 3 years, medical professionals have been hard at work creating a system of communication for Houben who had watched people coming and going in his life, his mind fully awake the entire time. Through a computer sensitive system that indicates pulses and slight movements in his finger, Houben states, “I screamed, but there was nothing to hear.” When asked how it felt to see exactly half your life flash in front of your eyes in a slow day by day drudgery, he responded, “Frustration is too small to describe what I felt.” I think the most pointed words spoken about how he now feels, the man with a new look on life says, “I’ll never forget the day that they discovered me, it was my second birth.”