A Different Sort of Night Before Christmas

Cozy fireplace on Christmas EveThis was passed on to my by a cousin, but it made me think of my son Michael, who’s in the military and can’t get home for Christmas this year. However, Mike’s family is hosting some of their closest friends right now, because the father in that family is serving in Afghanistan tonight.

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.Snowy StreetThe sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So slumbered I, perhaps I started to dream.Twinkly Christmas TreeThe sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.SoldierA soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Trooper, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment. It’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said, “It’s really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”Soldier on guard duty “It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died in Europe on a day in December,”
Then he said,”That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures. He’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and Blue American Flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”
“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.SoldiersTo fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

If you’re enjoying a sense of relative peace and security today as I am—no matter where you live around the world— I hope we stop to consider that on a human level, a major part of the equation is the sacrifice and commitment of our military personnel, most of whom are not able to be home for Christmas so that the rest of us can. May God bless and keep them. May God end war and bring peace and goodwill to all people in every nation through the redemption found in Jesus Christ, who came to earth on “Christmas Eve” so long ago.

“The dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke 1:78-79

 

3 responses to “A Different Sort of Night Before Christmas

  1. Charylene Powers

    Beautiful Post – May you have a Blessed Christmas

  2. Charylene Powers

    Thank you for your continued prayers – we can feel that people are praying for our family and we know that it makes a difference.

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