Valour and Cowardice

Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart was a Belgian officer in the British Army. The national Dictionary of Biography describes him as looking like a pirate, with his eye-patch and missing arm. During his time in the army, he had been shot in the face, ankle, leg, head, stomach ear and hip. He had survived two plane crashes. He spent seven months tunnelling out of a prisoner of war camp, only achieving his freedom on the fifth attempt. When a doctor had refused to amputate his fingers in 1944, he tore them off himself. As well as receiving the Victoria Cross, he was showered with other honours on account of his gallantry and fearlessness.

Contrast the brave Belgian to his Nazi opponents. They too possess powerful weaponry and martial dress, but their actions reveal the cowardice and evil which motivated them. Bravery and valour are not found in bullying the weak and troubling the defenceless. Such virtues are seen when we oppose injustice and intercede for the helpless.

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours God

Prov. 14:31

Photograph: R. White, public domain.