by Bill Richer
A man now, he narrated this story as he was a boy at the time in 1944. The Battle of the Bulge was at its height. A German cook who was with the German Army there had left his wife and the above mentioned little boy in a shack way in the woods seemingly from harm's way.
It was December 24th, Christmas Eve and it was a very cold night. Many soldiers on both sides became lost from their units and were looking for a place to stay. Three American Soldiers were lost around the area where the shack was. They saw the light from the shack and the smoke from the chimney. They saw their chance to warm up. They knocked on the door and asked if they could come in. The German lady had a small chicken cooking for themselves but invited the Americans in to warm up and for the Christmas meal.
One of the American Soldiers was wounded and the lady tried to make him comfortable. There was a language barrier for a time till one of the soldiers found out the lady could speak French as well as German! So everything was going well and the Americans were feeling right at home!
Then suddenly there was a knock at the door. The American's went for their guns. The lady went to the door and answered it. There were four German soldiers who were lost from their unit and they asked the lady for shelter. The lady answered them with this, "Yes, you can come in for Christmas dinner but I have other guests." One German soldier remarked, "Americana." She said, "yes and that this was Christmas and there would be no killing on this night." She also told the Germans that they would have to lay down their weapons while they came in. She instructed the Americans to do the same!
There they were all in the room together, soldiers who a little while ago were bent on killing each other. Now, they were in a room together with no weapons. Everyone could feel the tension in the air. It was so quiet for about ten minutes. Then one American soldier offered the Germans a cigarette. They obliged! Suddenly one of the Germans who had medical training asked about the wounded American. He then began to help the wounded American and made him as comfortable as he could be.
Suddenly, Christmas dinner was ready and before they ate the lady had a speech for them. She told them that war was wrong and told them the beauty of Christmas day and what it all meant. (Of course she said in German to the Germans and French to the Americans). All the soldiers had tears in the eyes, even the tough German Sergeant. So with that they ate and from an uneasy friendship was built a genuine friendship in Christ that night. Later on the soldiers all sang Silent Night in their own native tongues.
So later on the former enemies all went to sleep under the same roof. In the morning the Germans built a stretcher for the wounded American and even gave directions to the Americans on how to get back to their lines. The Germans took the lady and her son back to the German lines to bring them to her husband.
So, for one night in a great battle, Christ's peace was in the hearts of these nine people.