Thursday, October 12, 2006

Food for the Soul, Part 1

The following excerpt is from the story of a 24 year old Scotsman who was captured by the Japanese and forced with other British prisoners to build the ‘Railroad of Death’ (so named because of the many live lost through forced labor to build it). It is an intriguing and unique perspective on WWII (that isn’t based in Europe) and shows how the love of Christ overcomes famine, captivity, torture, and selfishness. I’ll give away a bit of the story: the sacrificial love of a few men brought hope to the entire camp and changed lives. The book was recently made into a movie of the same name staring Keifer Sutherland. The following takes place after many of the prisoners had gotten resourceful and made instruments out of bamboo and whatever they could find to start a rag-tag orchestra:
One night, as the orchestra was playing Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, I was sitting on the outside of the amphitheatre, not far from the road. A sick party was being marched in from another camp. It must have been a long march, for they looked exhausted. They were bound for the cook-house for a bowl of rice, and were wearily limping past the amphitheatre when the haunting strains of Schubert’s lovely music reached their ears. They turned their heads; they stopped; they sat down. The rice could wait.
While they listened, their faces came to life. When the music had ended, they rose reluctantly, one by one, and moved on. I heard a little skeleton of a man say to his companion with feeling, ‘God, that was lovely – bloody lovely!’
I thought to myself as I heard this, ‘Aren’t there two kinds of food – one for the body and one for the soul? And of the two surely the latter is the more satisfying.’

The music reminded us that there is always beauty to be found in life – even amid the ashes.

To End All Wars
Ernest Gordon

1 comment:

Hutch said...

I've seen the movie. Incredible. Definitely worth the watch. Graphic, but such is war.