Have you ever smelled fresh hay?
Aristar, the farming lad, began his story. "It's like someone captured the essence of spring and bundled it before it could lose its newness. Mary and Joseph must have smelled it when they arrived at the manger after their long journey."
The other prisoners listened intently as Aristar spoke naturally of the nativity. "The horse's ears would have turned towards the Savior's cry as soon as he was born. They are great listeners, as we should be when Jesus speaks."
Outside the Romanian prison of Tirgul-Ocna, the snow was six feet deep on a bitterly cold Christmas Eve. The prisoners had few clothes, little food, and barely one blanket each. They all missed their families and turned to listen to Aristar's story of Christ's birth for comfort.
He continued, "The light of the star must have been brighter than the moon. It may have shone through the stable's doorway and made the rooster crow announcing Christ's birth." The prisoners listened and wept. After the story, someone began to sing, gradually swelling to echo in the clear, crisp air. Everyone stopped to listen to the beautiful sound.
Even in the harsh prison, the story of Christ's gift warmed the hearts of many. Because Christ is the foundation, one can never lock out the spirit of Christmas.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
-- Luke 2:11--
--Voice of the Martyrs, Extreme Devotions Day 360--