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tar_heel BS: i heard the bells on christmas day... (2) BS: i heard the bells on christmas day... 13 Dec 03


A FRIEND SENT THIS TO ME...
i wanted to share it with everyone here...


I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

When I was very young my Father made the biggest deal about the Christmas season. It has always been his favourite time of the year. Well into the dark hours of the night I would lay on the couch and watch the Christmas tree lights reflecting off of the frosty windows and would play stacks and stacks of my Dad's Christmas records.
Among those records, the song " I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day..." was sung on most. One year I asked him about the story behind it. He told me to " go ask your mother, she's the Longfellow expert." Because, it was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the famous author and poet, who wrote the lyrics that became that song.
At the height of the U.S. Civil War, Longfellow was watching the snow fall on a Christmas morning. He had gotten up early to go to a chapel, though their town was snowed in heavily that day. He wanted to go for the Christmas service but the cold wintery air and barren trees made him think of his wife he had lost years before, who was burned to death in an accident. Also, his son was a soldier who had been seriously wounded in the fighting. Longfellow trudged down from his carriage that morning and thoughts of the war and his losses in the dim morning hours brought his heart down.
" ...And in despair I bowed my head ;
'There is no peace on Earth,' I said ;
'For hate is strong, and mocks the song
of Peace on Earth, Good-will to men!'"
"...Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
' God IS NOT DEAD ; nor does He sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail
With Peace on Earth, Good-will to men!'...."
During this Holiday season I just wanted to mention this.
There is hope. Even when conflict is over the horizon, and in the dim wintery mornings some of our hearts might doubt the course we seem to be on, with loved ones away, or in harm's way even:
' The Right shall prevail...."
So, I hope we search our hearts and try to be on the side of "the right" when possible, or at least to know that God does not sleep and His justice will prevail.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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