After having one of the most incredible visits with my Sister-Sister this week, and seeing the peace, love and acceptance in her - - - it only makes sense that THIS particular story was put in front of me this morning. What an inspiring little tidbit of history.
Taken from Our Daily Bread for 8-8-08 (yes, that's where the booklet opened up to today)
As the Olympic Games open in Beijing, my thoughts go back to Eric Liddell, a former champion immortalized for his surprising gold medal victory in the 400 meters during the 1924 Games in Paris. A year after his triumph, Liddell went to China, where he spent the last 20 years of his life as a missionary teacher and rural pastor. There he ran the greatest race of his life against opponents we all know - difficult circumstances, war, uncertainty, and disease.
Crowded into a Japanese internment camp with 1,500 other people, Eric lived out the words he had paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 13:6-8 - "Love is never glad when others go wrong. Love finds no pleasure in injustice, but rejoices in the truth. Love is always slow to expose, it knows how to be silent. Love is always eager to believe the best about a person. Love is full of hope, full of patient endurance; love never fails."
Eric served the others in camp, whether carrying water for the elderly or refereeing games for the teens. When he died of a brain tumor in February 1945, one internee described him as a man "who lived better than he preached."
In life's most difficult race, Eric Liddell crossed the finish line victorious through love.
- David McCasland