Dream Word – COURAGE
Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength, And the splendor of old men is their gray head. NKJV
Loving on Len
Len was 87 years of age when I met him. He had been a Christian for 77 years! He was old-school, you know? Grey hair parted to the right, pinstripe Sunday suit, black Bible and had been part of a Brethren Assembly for years. You’ve maybe seen the breed; you’ve maybe known the type. From another age, old, irrelevant, out of touch, useless. The leader of the service that morning had given way to to him though, as Len apparantly wanted to make an announcement.
Len stood up. Len stood to attention, yet he was still smaller in stature than even me, time and gravity had compressed his backbone you see. Yet he was still upright and straight, as straight as the creases in his well kept trousers, his steely eyes without blinking, staring into mine, searching out my soul. He looked a bit dangerous.
Len was a former Regimental Sergeant Major in the Gordon Highlanders, the second wave to hit Gold Beach and fight his way into Nazi Germany. He later told me that whilst out of ammunition, he and a friend had been captured by the SS outside of a prison camp. It was when moving in and out of consciousness, whilst his fingernails were being ripped out, that he had, in pain and in desperation, simply cried out, “Jesus! it’s Len!” Amidst the blood, the agony and the shouting, a great peace came over him and as he heard the voice, “Len! It’s Jesus!” The door was kicked open by rescuing Ghurkas, who, after dealing with his captors, fell on him, embracing him, crying, “Master my master.” One of these fierce Nepalese warriors put him on his back, carried him four miles to a field hospital and stayed with him until his recovery. He never forgot that.
The leader of the service that morning had given way to Len, as he wanted to make an announcement. In a broad Northern accent Len began, “Let us praise God together!” The story went that he had been woken that morning by the Padre of Lincoln prison who reported that the man Len had visited the previous week and spoken with until 1:30 in the morning, had committed his life to Jesus! The prison governor was now apparently very happy that his worse inmate, once permanently handcuffed, was now out of shackles and praising God.
Len was 87 years of age when I met him. He had been a Christian for 77 years! He was old-school, you know? Grey hair parted to the right, pinstripe Sunday suit, black Bible and had been part of a Brethren Assembly for years. You’ve maybe seen the breed; you’ve maybe known the type. From another age, old, irrelevant, out of touch, useless.
Listen: - Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host, That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made, And crowns for convoy put into his purse; We would not die in that man's company That fears his fellowship to die with us. This day is call'd the feast of Crispian. He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.' Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.' Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember, with advantages, What feats he did that day. Then shall our names, Familiar in his mouth as household words- Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester- Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. ----from Henry V
Pray: Lord, come gentle my condition and allow me some battle scars to brag about in heaven, in Your great name I pray, amen!