© Vickey Stamps Written, 12/12/09 11: 15 a.m.
It is Christmas Time, thinks the young soldier, not yet out of his teens, as he lies quietly in a shallow foxhole built from desert sand. He remains alert, but is unable to keep his entire thought from traveling to a place called home. He sees the family far away. He can almost smell the ham with its covering of cloves and pineapple slices secured to its surface. He pictures it pulled forth from the oven, steam and aroma rising up to fill the space around it. He sees it placed among the pies, the cranberry sauce, the green bean casserole and other goodies. He hears the noise of excitement from those yet too small to understand that beneath their very feet…FAR BENEATH AND FAR AWAY, trembles the earth in places further then their young minds can take them in their deepest imagination. It is a place of war. Here these children play with toys of latest popularity and brand name. They do not know of this soldier, still in his teens that once did the same in other years that they now do. The soldier misses those smells, those pictures in the mind of home. and that special time of Christmas. “Family” he speaks softly and almost out loud. He mind while busy, is alert. He casts his eyes around the brim of his helmet, blinking back that tear of loneliness which wants to freely fall. He does a spot check for signs of enemy activity. He prays for his buddies, for the family he cannot hug to him, he prays for those he has pledged to protect. It is not easy to be a soldier when you have barely become a man. WAIT !!! What is beside him now??? Burrowed down beside him, a hand thrown across his back, another thrown upon his helmet to keep his solder head down at a safer level, lies the Lord, his warmth blending with that of the boy/man next to him... The soldier is his family, a child of God. Now the sand is not so hot for the soldier, it does not feel quite so gritty; the loss of home at Christmas is more bearable than mere moments before. He is not alone. He was never alone. Despite his loneliness, he senses a new strength. He squares his shoulders, his focus on country and duty. One day perhaps… he will tell of this time of Christmas when the Lord made himself known… more than ever before, in such a place as a foxhole. May God rain down love and hope upon our men and woman who struggle here and beyond the seas to keep us free. Because of them…..Life is good.
(POST NOTE) Were I an artist, I’d paint the picture this brings to my mind. Do you see the Lord laying beside the soldier laying in the sand, do you see him walking beside him, boots of the soldier sifting the sands of that foreign land as wearily he threads forward to a destination…can you see Christ’s arms around his waist. It is what I pray for and a return soon…of those who fight for me…and for you to be…. over….over there!)