Unsung Heroes

* UNSUNG HEROES *

In Matthew 28:39, Jesus said to "Love your neighbor as yourself." And that's good, of course, if you love yourself to begin with. . .

Some, however, don't love themselves. I'm sure there has been times when all of us have not loved ourselves. Jesus knew this, of course, which is why in John 13:34 we see an addendum to the 'Second Greatest Commandment.' "A NEW command I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you."

He returns to tell us to utilize His example in loving others, even in times we don't love ourselves. In order to love others like He loved us, we must first get to know Him. There are two ways to do this, yet I will add a third.

First, by reading His Word, the Bible. Second, through prayer. And third, through the examples of others who are walking in those footprints left by Jesus.

This leads me to the topic for today, "The Unsung Heroes." Let me list out some of the characteristics that I believe qualify one to be an unsung hero.

Characteristics of Jesus - Humble, Selfless, Nonjudgmental, Gentle, Forgiving, Willing to sacrifice self, Helping the lost and hurting, the sick, hungry, and the outcast. And not last, and most certainly not least, the ability to love unconditionally.

The Unsung Heroes of my life who best fit the mold of Christlikeness are Earl Wilson and Jerry Ross. Both of these two amazing men of God have passed on to be with the Lord, but the memory of them is far from gone.

One of these men, Earl, had been a part of my life since I was very young. He was always there in place of my distant earthly father to exemplify what a man of God looks like. He was there when I was doing well, and there when I wasn't. He was a successful man, but not a flashy one. He loved his family, and he loved the church as well as everyone within and outside of it.

The other, no less significant, was Jerry. He met me at one of my lowest points, as I was about to enter prison my first time. Aside from taking care of and loving his rather large family, his focus was reaching the lost in the Snohomish County Jail. Yet, when I moved on to prison, he was one of the first to get on my visit list, and visit we did.

Even after a second arrest, although many vanished, Jerry was there. There to write, and not far removed from his death-bed, made the 4 1/2 journey with my mom to visit me, where I'd see him for the last time.

Jerry, like Earl, was not a flashy man. He'd done well for himself and family, yet both are two men I can truly say whom I seen Jesus within. Some people think Jesus is dead, God is dead. Let me tell you, He is very alive and is living within the very people some would least expect.

These are my Unsung Heroes, who are yours?

by A.J.

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