A man sits with his comrades in a foxhole, pondering the decisions that wrestle his mind and heart. Decisions of life and death. Being pinned down by a machine gun nest above their position, just up the hill, hope seems lost. This small platoon, a company of twenty five or so men, walked into this valley, not of their own construct, but derived from the many atrocities that occur throughout this fallen world.
Our man, he is strong and lean, a strength that surpasses visible awareness, but resonates from within and manifests in every aspect of his being. His eyes narrow with purpose, deep with wisdom that is granted by God for a single vision, crystal clear in the exhibition of the light that dwells within, born and bred for perhaps a single task, one that envelopes courage, strength and fortitude. He is God’s man, one of a kind, and the only one qualified to go.
The dilemma that pulls on everyone of the other men’s heart in this small platoon; one man can storm the hill creating a diversion, at which time the remaining men may slip away safe. One man’s sacrifice can “contribute” to the saving of the rest. There is only one qualified, called perhaps through the gifts granted him by God since birth, with strength, skill, and heart, he is the only one who can do it in the entire group.
“Contribute”; now that’s an interesting term to be examined, man doesn’t create the opportunity, nor the path to safety, he doesn’t grant strength or even the ability for these men to run, but merely presents a gift of his own sacrifice, that through his efforts, and unselfishness, gives a gift through which many may be saved.
Yes our man knows, in his heart he is leaving behind a wife and children, along with many others that would prefer he take a different course, one that maybe finds his way back into their arms and life. He volunteers not for glory or recognition although recognition he will certainly receive, but because in his heart he knows it is what he needs to do.
He set’s his resolve, taking weapon in hand, turns his face toward’s the enemy and steps out upon enemy land.
He rushes forth in blind strength, pushing towards unknown hate, with power in his voice, that sends shiver to hell’s gate.
Volley upon volley, the enemies attack’s come, strikes do hit home, yet our man presses on, a few more steps, one by one.
All the enemies eyes are on our single strong man, fear cascades through enemies camp, causing trembling in their hand.
But his men are also watching as he presses through, his strength a Godly witness to the gift of freedom and life anew.
The Medal of Honor; the highest distinction that can be presented to any individual in this country, where by the recipients, their spouse, even their children, are saluted by the President, and Generals alike, will stand to attention and salute every time the see this medal. It is said that generations of offspring will benefit from the sacrifice of a Medal of Honor winner.
Rich men will come and go, and their legacy of money may be a benefit to their offspring, until the last dollar he so fervently collected is spent, then like the dust of their flesh, so is their name erased from the memory of their children’s children, and like the breeze of yesterday, no longer felt, let alone remembered.
But so is it not with the Medal of Honor winner; families today are recognized and children are raised, with the pride that comes from knowledge they had a Medal of Honor winner generations ago in their lineage, in some long forgotten battle. Their children’s, children’s, children all benefit from their sacrifice. But not only them, but the countless families that benefit from those men who were saved and went back to their own families to further witness of his sacrifice…….
I had a vision of man of similar strength and stature, eyes set in purpose, strong in faith and courage. Lean and strong, a man born and bred for a purpose that falls beyond the recognition of many around him. Marching down a path that few if any would even tread.
As he strides with purpose and dignity down the path God has given him, one day he finds, while marching, along his path darkness and dire circumstances set upon him from both side, not by his own making but derived from the fallen world on which he lives.
Before him stretched out on his left and right sides are lines of demon’s forming a line that is slowly converging on the our man’s path. Our hero knows without a doubt, that in his path straight ahead lies the Light, but as he gets further down the road, the demons on both sides get closer, as well as stronger in ranks and stature, until it is apparent that the forces on both sides of him are physically overwhelming. A guillotine waiting!
Dark ominous creatures, spitting and profaning all sorts of attacks that press from every imaginable crevice. Hurtling blow upon blow, arrow upon arrow, with one purpose, to thwart our gallant hero from his set goal. Their insults and attacks come from all venues, some head on and with pain and torment, others with subtle pressing of seemingly friendly and loving coercion.
Our man knows he is marching into a gauntlet, and the further he goes the stronger the enemies resolve becomes, and the greater the fight. He also knows that as he proceeds strength and physical ability diminishes as he receives volley after volleys of relentless and brutal attacks!
Anytime he could turn around, go back, give up!, he might even be spared, but faith and commitment to the path, dictates he march on.
Now there is a third group watching; thousands standing on the hills behind quite safe, watching, praying, waiting to see what will happen. Many of these may be even wondering; “will our valiant champion give up, or will he push through with faith to the end?” Many would help, if they could, few if any would walk along, even fewer would take his place, but all will be touched by his strength and fortitude.
Many hundreds, may be even thousands could be saved from this one man’s act of sacrifice.
As men become Martyr’s of Christ, many opportunities to turn back are given. Who knows how many times Timothy may have had been presented an opportunity to denounce his faith before he was stoned.
Who knows; had Peter chose not to denounce Christ three times might he have been crucified right next to Jesus, or how many other opportunities he may have been presented to turn, right before they eventually did crucify him.
And how many thousand’s, millions, billions of people have been influenced to faith, salvation, by these two acts of personal sacrifice.
Oh I am sure; the wife, or child, or mother of our our gallant soldier found it difficult understanding the sacrifice, the total scope of which’s effect may only been truly understood by God himself…
Our Medal of Honor winner, was it a sacrifice or maybe a privilege that he had been born to?
“No man can give a greater gift then to give his life for another.” and “If you give to the least of these you give to Me.”
The act of following our faith even to the end, through pain and unimaginable assault, even to death, ever able to turn, but unwilling through the commitment make a man, in my opinion a Martyr.
God’s Medal of Honor; The Martyr of Christ.
By Peter Colla
“Lord, that I but have a similar honor, to be one of your Martyrs.”