My Hero's Hands
Written by Cory Collins
Last Tuesday Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry became only the second living soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, the military's highest decoration, for his actions in Afghanistan. The award is given for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty." Petry, originally from New Mexico, now age 31, threw away an enemy grenade that endangered two of his fellow Rangers while he was serving in Paktya, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008. He saved their lives, but the force of the blast destroyed his right hand. His body was also riddled with shrapnel.
In spite of his grievous wounds he remained calm. He put on his own tourniquet, and he continued to lead, directing his team, giving orders, and even telling medics how to treat his wounds. He’s still shaking hands, thanks to a robotic prosthesis which he is thankful to have. He said he expected to have a hook. Instead of complaining about his own loss or becoming bitter over his circumstances, Petry is just happy that he could serve his country. He humbly honors his other teammates that perished, the ones he was unable to save.
Such sacrifice, courage, and love reflect my hero, whose hands delivered me from sin.
- My hero’s hands blessed the children. He received them, embraced them, and loved them, even when those nearby rebuked them. (Matt 19:13-15)
- My hero’s hands fed the hungry. As He handled the loaves and fishes, they became more than enough to satisfy thousands. (Matt 14:13-21; 15:32-39)
- My hero’s hands contacted the lepers, the blind, the crippled, and even the dead. He healed and restored each one to fullness of life. (Matt 8:3, 15; 9:25; 12:13; 20:34)
- My hero’s hands rescued the sinking. When Simon Peter cried, “Lord, save me!” He reached out and took hold of him. (Matt 14:22-33)
- My hero’s hands carried the cross and accepted the nails. (John 19:17; 20:25)
- My hero’s hands reassured the doubting. When Thomas the Twin could not believe without touching, Jesus offered His hands. Thomas was convinced. (John 20:24-29)
- My hero’s hands uplifted His followers. Jesus blessed His disciples as He ascended, so that they were filled with joy and continually praised God. (Luke 24:50-53)
- My hero’s hands hold me tightly and securely, so that no outside force can snatch me away. (John 10:28-30)
As the Gaither song says, “He touched me and made me whole.” Thank you, Lord!