SecondEditedOn a tour of duty in Vietnam and American soldier wandered through a village. It was Christmas and he whistled a Christmas carol as he strolled down a street. He was moved by the scores of children he saw. Dirty and hungry, many of the little ones in this war-torn country had little to rejoice over.

One tiny little girl shyly smiled as the soldier walked by. Her dress was ragged, her feet were bare, and her enormous brown eyes showed more sorrow and hardship than most adults have seen. He stopped and knelt in front of the little girl. He pulled a stick of chewing gum out of his pocket and held it out to her.

Her eyes welled up with tears and she turned away. Worried he had frightened or offended her in some way, he started to put the gum back in his pocket.  But the little girl reached out and took it from his hand. She pointed to her eyes and spoke to him in broken English, “Happy tears, Mr. American, happy tears.”


from Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned from Jesus; 1998 David C. Cook Publishing Company