How can 10 hours of video be so captivating? It’s possible if the video is entitled “Band of Brothers.” I am watching most of it again for the third time with Heidi, catching things I did not previously. As many of you may know, it follows Easy Company of the 101st Battalion from their paratroop drop on D-day all the way through their capture of Hitler’s mountain retreat.
Recently I ran across a line that just jolted me. The Battle of the Bulge is about to begin. There is little ammo, less winter clothing, and dwindling medical supplies. The US troops have been surrounded by the Germans and are cut off from retreat. Captain Winters hears the grim news from his commanding officer. His response is electric: “We’re paratroopers. We’re supposed to be surrounded.”
Here is a man who knows his identity as a paratrooper and lives out of it with a compelling strength. He is fully aware of the dreadful battle ahead and the odds stacked against his company. Yet he faces it with audacity and pluck.
Why did it arouse me so? Because I’ve spent years as a man looking for that kind of strength. I’ve looked to athletic prowess, muscular physique, manly activities, fame and success–all to fill the aching void I’ve always known was there. But it was all window dressing. It never worked.
Now I know that this is the cry of every man. It’s not that the strength doesn’t exist. It’s just that we’ve missed its source. It only comes by connection, by knowing who you are because someone has spoken that into you. The strength is spiritual. Always was. Always will be. It comes by connecting to the Father through Jesus and hearing his voice in your heart. You know who you are. You know what you need to do. And you just do it. Nothing else matters. When a man lives out of this core, it’s always electric.
But there is a catch. We have to forsake all the window dressing. We have to give up the false bravado. We have to strip naked before the living God and allow him to put his armor on us. But if we do, we can say with Paul that nothing can separate us from God’s love, not famine or sword or danger or persecution. We may be surrounded, but we know who we are.
For it’s his love that make us strong. It’s his love that makes us men.