Revolution of Love Lance-corporal Murfitt in the Line of Fire Despite being shaken, Lance-corporal Murfitt kept his cool and managed to signal to the vehicle gunners where the shooter was. The child had run off as soon as the shot was fired, giving the troops the chance to strike without endangering the girl. As Murf started to take in what had happened, he heard automatic fire as the Warthogs engaged the insurgent.”
Lance-corporal Murfitt (AKA ‘Murf’) was in the rear half of his Troop Sergeant’s vehicle on a routine patrol in Helmand Province. The Patrol also consisted of specialist Warthog vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns. When a fire fight broke out between a foot patrol and insurgents in their vicinity they were re-tasked and ordered to get in their fast and engage the enemy.
When they arrived on the scene with their heavy firepower the fight died down pretty quickly, but the troops stayed alert. Everything seemed quiet, but then Murf spotted three men with a child on a compound roof, about 300 yards to the front of the vehicles.
Suddenly two of the men moved off, leaving one man with the child, a girl, no more than 10-years-old. Murf realised something was wrong and through his gun sites he saw the man pick up a rifle and move behind the little girl using her as a human shield. Murf knew he could take him down but, being a father himself he didn’t want to run the risk of killing the girl and waited, hoping that the child would drop down and give him a clear shot. The insurgent aimed his rifle at Lance-corporal Murfitt and fired a single shot which struck the left hand side of his helmet knocking him to the floor of the vehicle, dazed and seeing stars.
Murf could feel the dent left by the bullet in his helmet. The other soldiers heard his voice over the radio, “I’ve been shot in the head but I’m fine,” fortunately for Murf his helmet had saved his life.
Lance-corporal Murfitt could have taken the shot but because he was a father he chose to wait, not wanting to endanger the little girl. In a split second he chose to lay his life on the line for the sake of the young Afghan girl by leaving himself in the line of fire. The insurgent took his shot and fortunately for Murf his helmet saved his life.
What defines us as parents? In the story Lance-corporal Murfitt defined himself as a father while the insurgent, by his actions did not.
Jesus said “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”
Because Lance-corporal Murfitt was a father he cared enough about the Afghan child to lay his life on the line and it was love that defined him as a father. When we love we become fathers and mothers. When we love we connect with the Fathers heart.
When our first child was born we were filled with unexplainable love and affection for this wrinkled, noisy miniature human being that tended to leak everywhere. We loved first and then faced the implications. It was because of love we went through sleepless nights, it was love that taught us to feed and discipline, it was love that taught us to provide and pick up our children when they fell. Love keeps us awake until they return home safe and sound. We love first and then tackle the issues, without love we are nothing. When we love we disciple and when we love we teach others to love.
During a recent small group meeting I found myself praying that God would raise up more spiritual fathers and mothers in the communities where we work and live. In my prayer I could not help but ask the question, “Lord what is it that hinders us, your people from becoming spiritual mothers and fathers in your Kingdom?” The room fell silent and it was as if you could hear a pin drop.
I don’t know the answer to this question but I have a very real sense that God is asking us the same question. What is hindering you, what are you afraid of, enter into your destiny, and enter into spiritual parenthood. Be mothers and fathers in your nation……
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