The meek and the humble are the true generators of a good and prosperous country. It is because they get stepped upon and yet are strong enough to get right back up. It is because they don’t have the “bully-pulpit” and yet maintain their morals, ideals, and focus when all about them are losing theirs. This is the true “American Character”, found mostly in the middle of the country, often derogatorily referred to as “fly over country” by those on either coast. “American Character” is the Ross McGinnis story, a 19 year old Army soldier from Knox, Pennsylvania, with his whole life before him. Serving his country in Iraq, he threw himself on a grenade thrown into his vehicle to save four others in the vehicle (see John 15:13). He was awarded our country’s highest honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was Rush Limbaugh, who the liberals love to hate, who said that Ross and his parents are what makes this country great; they are the backbone of America and they deserve our respect! He is right. Saying what he did about Ross, does that sound like someone we should hate? I don’t think so. President George W. Bush, another hated with an unreasonable passion, himself feeling the pain of the McGinnis family’s loss and the actions of a giving hero, had tears in his eyes over Ross’s story. Yet we have many congressmen & senators on both sides of the aisle who think that they are the ones who are great. No, it is the lowly “common man and woman” that make up the kingdom of God on earth.
It is the roughneck on an oil rig that works hard but is a peaceful and kind man. It is the woman iron worker bolting heavy beams together to form our buildings that also tenderly nurses her baby. A baker who rises at 3:00AM to make fine bread like the bread Jesus broke that last night. It is the creative passionate artisan that forms a beautiful hymn of praise, and the school’s caring janitor that wishes to see fairness in the way people are treated. These are such as the family of God, brothers and sisters in Christ to serve God, bowing down to the LORD Jesus Christ and growing in the Spirit.
Jesus brought down the high and mighty, and lifted up the lowly.
I believe the Ross McGinnis story reflects a unique Christian character, that is, it is a story of sacrifice for a cause and a caring for others beyond self. It is a story of pushing one’s self beyond normal settings all for a higher purpose. Though erroneously labeled baby-killers by unthinking hateful liberal groups, our military men and women often react in a Christ-like walk of love as they, though being in a fire fight, will struggle to save an innocent child or woman, or even one of their own brothers or sisters in the fight. Paul told us what to do:
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1+2 ESV)