BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

John Denney 25 July 2008




Have you got what it takes to be a true hero - or a heroine? I've been struck by two news stories this week.


The first is that Lance Corporal Matt Croucher of the Royal Marines has been awarded the George Cross for throwing himself on top of an exploding hand grenade fired by a tripwire, thus saving his comrades from certain injury or death. By a miracle, his rucksack took the brunt of the explosion, and he lived.


And a couple of nights ago two police officers from Surrey used their own bodies to smother the flames that were engulfing a man who had poured petrol over himself and set light to it.


In these two incidents, the people concerned showed decisive bravery. They chose to put their lives at risk for others. And every week we hear of a member of the Fire Service of the Police Service or the Armed Forces deliberately putting themselves in harm's way to save others - and sometimes dying in the attempt.


We owe them a debt of gratitude. It reminds me of Jesus' words: My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command[1]


Could I obey Jesus and lay down my life for my friends? I hope so. But I hope I'm never put to the test.


And by the way, do you suppose it's a coincidence that the highest gallantry medal without engaging the enemy is the George CROSS?

[1] John 15:12-14 NIV