Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Authentic Christian faith is contagious

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Charles Krulak tells of the time when he as a nonbeliever first came in contact with a contagious believer. In a speech, General Krulak said,

“Thirty-five years ago I was a young second lieutenant just graduated from the Naval Academy. I went down to Quantico, Virginia, home of the basic school where officers learn about honor, courage, and commitment.

I shared a room with another officer named John Listerman. John was a wonderful human. He exuded goodness. John was a Christian. That meant nothing to me other than Gee, what a nice guy. I guess this Christian stuff must be pretty good.

Upon graduating from basic school, John and I went to Camp Pendleton, California, where we joined the same battalion preparing to go to Vietnam. And I saw another side of John Listerman: He was a tremendous leader--aggressive and technically proficient. was a Marine’s Marine.

On a December morning in 1965 John and I went to war. John Listerman’s war lasted one day. We were on patrol moving down a trail through the jungle. We came around a corner in that trail, and we ran into an ambush.

John took the first round, a 50-caliber round right in his kneecap. As his kneecap burst, the crack was so loud it sounded like a mortar exploding. It threw him up in the air. As he was dropping, the second round hit him right below the heart and exited out his side.

“I was wounded also but nowhere near as badly. I saw John about 30 meters away on his back, his leg blown off. I crawled up to him, and I wanted to say, "Are you okay? Can I do anything?" but before I could do that, his head turned to me and he said, "How are you doing, Chucker? Are you okay?"

I said, "Yes, John. I’m okay."

He said, "Are my men safe?"

I said, "John, your people are okay."

At that point he turned his head and looked to the sky and repeated over and over, "Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for caring for my people. Thank you for caring for me."

I was dumbfounded.

John Listerman and Charles Krulak were evacuated.

General Krulak later became a Christian.

[Citation: Linda M. Gehrs, Oak Park, Illinois; source; General Charles Krulak, from a message given at the Wheaton, Illinois, Leadership Prayer Breakfast (October 2000)]

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