In the movie We Were Soldiers, Mel Gibson plays Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore, a courageous commander in the Army’s 7th Cavalry during the Vietnam war. His 400 men faced 4000 North Vietnamese soldiers and with significant loss of life, they defeated them in that battle. But the moment the US troops left that remote airstrip that cost hundred of lives, the North Vietnamese took it back over. The names of the American heroes who died in that battle will forever remain on the wall of the Vietnam Memorial and all Americans are indebted to them for their selfless service. But the progress they died for in that battle, was not kept.
The book of Hebrews (Chapter 11) also has a wall of names. Heroes of faith. Many are known world-wide, by Christians, Muslims, Atheists and all. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon and more. These were men (and a woman) who, just like us, lived life. They fought with their siblings. They wondered what they should do with their lives. They screwed up often. But they chose a course that made an impact. Their storied lives are still talked about today and the progress was kept.
But there were others listed as well, whose lives aren’t talked about as much. Their names are still on the wall as heroes. “…those who were tortured…. some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated…. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.” Those lives aren’t as storied. But equally impactful, and their progress was also kept.
I pray that one way or another, my life will be listed on the wall as a hero of faith. I know Tara’s will be. Maybe mine could be right under hers.
God is daily sustaining us. Our journey is bearable…..and life is good.