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Selfless Acts of Valor

Just the words make us sit up straighter and feel a sense of awe.  You know those words that grip your immediate attention, can put a lump in your throat, and even a tear in the corner of your eye.  What words?  Words like… Courage. Selflessness. Sacrifice. Undaunted. Fearless. Fierce. Strong. Unrelenting. Scarred. Gave his life….

Although those words are used in many different settings, when it is a current event, or a person that made “today’s news”, or someone we know, or someone we “knew” that deeply touched our lives, those that are described with any of the qualities above, we hold in the highest regard. Likely, we have told their story to others many times and to some repetitively to make sure that their valor is not forgotten.

So many stand in the gap for us daily, and most of the time, we never even pause to thank them for their willingness to do so. Recently, in a public place, I saw a police officer standing by himself and appeared to be waiting for someone.  As I was heading to my car parked near where he was standing, I took a step or two out of my direct path so that I would be face-to-face.

I smiled and said, “I would like to say ‘thank you’ for what you do for me and for all of us all of the time.  I know that because of your vocation, you are often dealing with sad or bad situations.  Just know that there are those of us that deeply appreciate you and all our officers.  And, know that we pray for you and ask our God to protect you and your family always.

He smiled and said, “Well, thank you!  We don’t hear a lot of compliments and it really means something when we do. Thank you for your encouragement.  It means a lot.”

Have you ever paused to think of the number of folks that offer their lives to protect yours and mine?  I only know a very few of their names, but I am a debtor to those present and past that have provided a great freedom and life for me to enjoy.  And, to our God who gave us this privilege.  One of my very favorite stories is listed below. I hope you will love it, too.

One of the great stories of the Christian Church is that of Telemachus. He was a hermit of the desert, but the call of God told him he must go to Rome. Rome was nominally Christian, but still the gladiatorial games went on. Men fought with each other and crowds roared with the lust for blood.

Telemachus found his way to the games; 80,000 people were there to spectate. He was horrified. Were these men who were slaughtering each other not also children of God?  He leaped from his seat, right into the arena, and stood between the gladiators. He was tossed aside. He came back.

The crowds were angry; they began to stone him. Still he struggled back between the gladiators. The prefect’s command rang out, a sword flashed in the sunlight and Telemachus was dead.

Suddenly there was a hush. The crowd realized what had happened – a holy man lay dead. Something happened that day to Rome, for there were never any gladiatorial games any more. The one man had let loose something by his death that cleansed an empire of a sin.  (Copied).

You and I know someone that laid down His life for us and His sacrifice cleanses all who believe in Him of all their sin!  THANK YOU, JESUS!  Have you thanked Him today?