He brings Paul to life by matching verses from his writings with personal reflections, stories and examples. The most moving of these for me is a story from World War II.
Private Joseph Schultz was a marksman and a good German soldier. He was stationed in Yugoslavia after the German invasion of that country. One day his lieutenant called him over, along with seven other soldiers, and told them to march to the far side of the nearest hill where they would meet another officer who was waiting with their orders. As they came down the hill, Private Schultz saw five Yugoslav men and three women huddled together and under guard. The young officer ordered the eight soldiers to form a line and prepare to execute the prisoners. He shouted, “Ready,” then “Aim.” Suddenly Private Schultz threw down his rifle and helmet and walked toward the men and women waiting to be executed. The officer ordered him ot stop and return to the firing squad. Private Schutz took his place in the middle of the Yugoslavians and reached out and grabbed the hands of the man and woman standing on either side of him. The officer angrily yelled, “Fire.”
Private Schutz died that day, his blood spilled and mingling with those he was there to kill. Among the things found on his body was a scrap of paper with these handwritten words from Paul, “Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.”
I don’t know about you, but every time I read that story a shiver goes up my spine. I want to be capable of that kind of love…