Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them. (Jude 1:23 TLB)
Hacksaw Ridge was a 2016 movie about Army Pfc Desmond Doss, the only conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. The story is about one with an unyielding passion for sacrificing himself for others.
Desmond Thomas Doss was a devout Christian and pacifist who, when drafted, refused to bear arms. He was ridiculed and mocked for his refusal to take arms. Despite the resistance he received for his beliefs, he never wavered in his commitment to his convictions.
Doss became an Army medic and served in the Pacific theatre in the war with Japan. He was part of the battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest battles in the entire war. They had to climb Maeda Escarpment, a steep 400-foot cliff, to take the island. Doss was among the first wave of soldiers to reach the top. Once there, they experienced a fierce Japanese counterattack, and the command gave the order to retreat. Doss saw the many wounded on the top of that hill and refused to leave. He started dragging soldiers, one by one, to the edge of the cliff. He fashioned a makeshift pulley and lowered each man to the bottom of the cliff. Over three hours, he recused more than seventy-five men. When asked why he stayed behind, Doss said, “I had these men up there, and I did not want to leave them. I didn’t feel like I should value my life above my buddies.”
His commanding officer, who had once tried to have him court-martialed, said he was one of the bravest soldiers with whom he had ever served. In a later battle, he was wounded and sent to a ship offshore for treatment. He realized his Bible that he always carried in his shirt pocket had fallen out when he was wounded. When the men in his company heard of his loss, they went to the battlefield at risk of their lives to retrieve it, and they did.
When asked how he could persevere under enemy fire to accomplish this task, he responded, “So I just kept on prayin, Lord, help me to get more and more, one more, until there was none left, and I am the last one down”—and God honored his prayers.
What if you and I would pray each morning, Lord, give me one more, through word or deed, to touch for Christ—snatching them out of the flames of hell or loving them into the Kingdom? What a different person you and I and the people we meet might be.
The image is used with permission from Microsoft.
Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.
Ken’s Website— https://kenbarnes.us/
Ken blogs at https://kenbarnes.us/blog/