Monday, August 18, 2014

Warriors and Battlefield Scars

What does a warrior look like? Is it someone who is perfect? Someone who finds life easy, always doing the right thing, always having the right answer? Is it the toughest of the tough? Never been wounded because they're too strong for that?
I think that deep in everyone's heart is the desire to be a warrior. To have a life of adventure. To make a difference in the world. 

Now, I'm not going to define what your adventure or you making a difference looks like because there is such a wide range for that. But I do want to talk about a couple of characteristics of warriors.

Scars. We all have them. Life knocks us around and no one escapes without some kind of battle scar. The good news is, scars mean a wound has healed. They are proof that we didn't die, we weren't defeated or completely crushed beyond repair. So, what do we do with those scars? Do we pick at them for the rest of our lives? Reliving over and over the pain that we experienced and the injustice of it all? Do we hide them in shame? Do we lie about them? Do we give up and sink into depression because of the way they got there?
Jesus has scars. Let that sink in. He wears the deepest scars of any human being. So how does he handle his scars? He shows them to a hurting and broken world.  He uses them to build our faith. He uses them to testify to God's power to overcome anything and everything. And warriors do the same. We boldly and unashamedly show our scars to a hurting and broken world. And we use them to build up others' faith. We testify to God's power to bring anyone through the battle, a victorious champion. Stronger than before we went in. We overcome the enemy by the word of our testimony (our scars) and the word of Jesus's testimony (the blood of the lamb).

That's it. The big one. Warriors love like no one else. They love while everyone hates. The kind of love that is excruciating. If someone hits them on the cheek, they offer the other cheek. They love when there is nothing given in return. They love the unlovable. If someone asks them to go one mile, they go two. If someone asks for their coat, they give them their clothes as well. It takes a strong warrior to love like that. Jesus said that anyone can love the easy way. But we are called to a deeper kind of God love. The kind of love that makes no sense and changes the world. The kind of love that looks like the picture above. And the kind that looks like this.

"I want you to do the death crawl."
"What you want me to go to the thirty yard line?"
"I think you to go to the fifty."
"I can do it if no one's on my back."
"I think you can do it with Jeremy on your back. But I want your best."
"Alright." he shrugs.

"Ok." "You’re going to give me your best?" 
"Your best." the coach says more firmly
"I’m going to give you my best." he finally says with true conviction.
"Okay, but I want you to do it blindfolded."

"Because I don’t want you giving up when you can go farther." 

The boy starts out at the one yard line. The coach is standing above him, talking confidently. 

Facing The Giants
Brock on the one yard line with Jeremy on his back
"Show me good effort." 
"A little bit left."
"That a way Brock."
"There you go."
"It’s a good start." 
"A little bit left." 

Brock stops and takes a rest.

"Don't give up on me Brock."
"I'm not coach. I'm just resting."

Brock starts back up.
The coaches encouragement grows louder.
"Your very best."
"Don't quit on me."
"There you go."
"Don't quit until you've got nothing left."
"That's it."
"That's it."

Brock's pace slows.

"It hurts. It hurts. He’s heavy. I’m almost out of strength."
The coach drops to his knees and begins to crawl next to him. Now he is screaming his encouragement in his ear and crawling along beside him. 

coaching giving encouragment
Dont you quit on me Brock

"It burns!" Brock says his struggle growing.
Coach screams louder. "Let it burn!"

"It’s all heart!"
"My arms are burning!" He's slowing more now.
"You promised me your best!""Your best!"
"It’s too hard!"
"It’s not too hard!"

"You give me your best!"
"Don’t quit! No!"
"Keep Going!"
"Don’t Quit!"
"Don’t Quit!"

"Give me more!"
"Give me your best!"
"Don’t Quit!"
"Don’t Quit!"
"Brock Kelly you don’t quit on me!"

"You keep Going!"
"Ten more steps!"

"Ten More!"
"Ten More!"
"I can’t do it!"
"You can! Just five more!"

"Five More!"
"Don’t Quit!"

"Two More!"
"One More!"

Brock collapses to the ground. The coach falls to the ground in front of him.
"I can’t make it to the sixty. I don’t have anymore." Brock whispers his face buried into the turf. The coach removes his blindfold.

"Look up Brock. You're in the end zone."
"Brock you are the most influential man on this team. If you walk around defeated so will they. You just carried a hundred and forty pound man across the field. And you have been gifted with the ability of leadership. Don’t waste it." 

At the end of my life, let it be said of me, "She held nothing back, she left nothing on the table, she loved extravagantly.".


  1. I needed this in a big way

    1. I'm glad it meant something to you. I have to remind myself of this message often.