• Today's Daily Devotion
Hanging Upside Down
This was the matter-of-fact way Robert Saxton informed his parents of his part in a drama high in the skies over Italy. For his actions the twenty-four-year-old airman was ...

Hanging Upside Down

Dear Mom, Dad, and Boogie,

Well I’ve been on my first combat mission and I’m telling you it was plenty jumpy all of the time. It got really interesting too. One of the bombs hung on the side of the bomb bay and wedged itself on the rack. The other bombs as they fell out hit it and wedged it tighter. The arming vane of the bomb was spinning around and the bomb was arming itself in the bomb bay… the Bombardier and I got on top of the bomb bay to see what we could do. I was the lighter in weight so I took off my parachute and jacket. I hung down into the bomb bay while he held me around the knees. I worked with both hands getting the bomb loose. I finally got it loose and let it drop out of the open bomb bay.

This was the matter-of-fact way Robert Saxton informed his parents of his part in a drama high in the skies over Italy. For his actions the twenty-four-year-old airman was officially cited for heroism and awarded the Soldier’s Medal and the Air Medal.

Courage comes in many forms, and, fortunately, is not in short supply on the part of young people today. An amazing example is the story of my church’s twenty-six-year-old assistant rector, fresh out of seminary, in his first assignment. Recently, the leaders of the church unexpectedly called him to be the rector, responsible for every aspect of administering and shepherding this large, diverse congregation. His decision to accept such a promotion was not easy. He knew that his youthful inexperience and enthusiasm would have to contend with an older congregation and a long history of conservative tradition. In 2008 the Reverend Robert Sturdy prayerfully and courageously accepted this call and all the risks that go with it. Watching him handle his many challenges, I can almost picture him hanging upside down out of a bomb bay. The courage of one of the youngest Episcopal priests in church history has been an inspiration to his congregation and to a whole community.

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

—Philippians 1:29–30


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