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Posts Tagged ‘Believing in Spite of Evidence’

 

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“Faith is not believing in spite of evidence;

it’s obeying in spite of consequence.” 

Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy

 

I love quotes that succinctly express truth.  I love to get acquainted with the people who make these wise, memorable statements.  I hope you do, too.

Geoffrey was the son of a vicar who became a minister himself.  But soon after accepting his first appointment in Worcester, England in 1914, war was declared against Germany.

Studdert-Kennedy volunteered as an army chaplain, and served in the trenches along the Western Front.  He’d joke a bit with the soldiers, say a prayer with them, and pass out cigarettes.  Geoffrey was a chain smoker himself, especially fond of Woodbine cigarettes.  He soon became known as Woodbine Willie.  (Remember, this was long before anyone knew the health-risks associated with smoking.)

Studdert-Kennedy put his Christian faith to the supreme test at Mesines Ridge, 1917.  He ran out into no man’s land, that area between the trenches of the British/French forces, and those of the Germans.  Geoffrey tended to wounded and dying soldiers, even as bullets and bombs caused devastation and death around him.  His only weapons:  a wooden cross and prayer.  And whether the soldier in need of his care was English or German, he paid no attention.

Geoffrey had no foreknowledge or guarantee that his own life would be spared.  He simply obeyed the call upon his life to minister to the soldiers, in spite of the consequences.  For his heroism, the vicar earned the Military Cross.

One might expect Studdert-Kennedy to come home from the war and take it easy.  He had done more than his part.  But the hero went to work with the homeless and unemployed in the London slums.  Soon his nickname, Woodbine Willie, became loved and respected throughout the whole city. He was often a speaker at Industrial Christian Fellowship Crusades, introducing others to Jesus.

Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy more than lived up to his statement quoted at the beginning of this post.  In fact, he, along with many self-sacrificing men and women, seem to reside on pedestals so tall we can barely see them.  And I find myself wondering, Is there any hope I might someday demonstrate such faith—with the same courage and  passion as these saints?  I have such a long way to go…

 Help me, Lord, to be more obedient, to sacrifice more willingly, and serve You more diligently.  I want to be faith-filled–undistracted by the things of this world, focused on what will bring you glory.  Thank You for working in me, helping me want to obey You and then even helping me to choose Your way for my life (Philippians 2:13).

(Photo credit:  www.bbc.org.)

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