Monday, July 18, 2011

Heartbreak Hill

by Peter Waldin

    His father died when he was a child.  His mother struggled to keep him, and her other children as a family, but without success.  The great industrial city of Birmingham offered little in the way of doing so.  His mother was forced to place him in a sort of orphanage.  As a child, and then as a youth, life was a joyless struggle.
    When the Great War broke out, he enlisted in the famous Rifle Brigade.  During the First Battle of Ypres he was severely wounded.  Thirteen pieces of shrapnel tore into his body, one permanently blinded him.
    He became my father and my hero.  I never saw my father despondent or cast down.  He whistled more in one day than a thousand other men throughout their lifetime.
    'And all the world's Greathearts - our heroes and saints,
       took sorrow and shaped it into a shrine;
       took the red blood of suffering,
           the purple bruise of life's hurts,
           the blackness of defeat,
        and made a window for the light of God to shine through.
      They took darkness and adversity and the world's
           brutality and made a roadway to God's heaven.
      They took their own broken hearts to help others,
            to keep kindness and hope alive.'

For it is on 'Heartbreak Hill' we meet with God.  We find 'the peace which passeth understanding.' We find our souls and become 'more than conquerors.'

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