I have been pondering the senseless killings that have been happening around the country. I am not addressing the situations where a policeman shoots a suspect. I am referring to the instances of protesters shooting other protesters who happen to be on the opposite side of an issue. Yes, the issues are important, but are they worth taking a life?
In the last few weeks, we have witnessed a 17-year-old from Illinois travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin and shoot several people, killing two. In Portland, Oregon we witnessed a man shoot and kill another man in cold blood. Why? Evidently because he did not hold the same opinion as the shooter.
In all of this mayhem, the real heroes of our society get overlooked. They are a footnote note in an article or an asterisk at the bottom of the page. I don’t mean Chadwick Boseman. Yes, his death was unexpected to most of us and tragic. His fight with colon cancer was heroic. From all that I can tell, he was a good guy and left us much too soon. But Boseman played the part of a Marvel Comic Superhero. His on screen character wasn’t real. In fact, I believe in time, they will find somebody else to play that role. Because (as you know) Superheroes can’t die. But real heroes do.
In fact, they not only die, but they give their lives to save others. On Friday, August 21, 2020 a real life hero gave his life to save three girls who were struggling for their lives in the Detroit River. Detroit fire Sergeant Sivad Johnson saw the three girls in distress. According to the Detroit News,
“The 26-year veteran of the department and his daughter were walking near the Yacht Club when they heard three young girls screaming for help from the water. He saw the girls in distress and jumped in.”
“The incident took nearly 45 minutes. Only after the children were safe with their parents, Johnson’s daughter realized he was missing and called 911, authorities said. It is believed the father may have been dragged underwater by the rip-current and no one noticed, Michigan State Police said.”
Jesus stated in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (NIV).” Jesus did this for us on the cross 2000 years ago. He is our ultimate hero.
However, we can learn a lot from Sergeant Sivad Johnson. In a turbulent world where many are choosing sides and taking the lives of others whom they don’t know, there are still modern day heroes that are willing to give their lives for those they don’t know… but love.
As we ponder the senseless violence on our streets, let’s remember that Jesus has called us to something higher. Something more wonderful. Something more glorious. He has called us to “love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31).”
Thank you Sergeant Savid for giving us an example of what true love looks like.