Standing Man

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A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day (January 25, 2017)

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6:14-18)

I don’t watch a lot of movies but I recently watched a great movie on cable television entitled “Bridge of Spies” that came out in 2015. This movie was a true story of a New York lawyer that was appointed in 1957 to be the legal counsel for a Russian spy. Tom Hanks played James Donovan, the lawyer, and Mark Rylance played Rudolf Abel, the spy.

The lawyer, James Donovan, went through all kinds of hell and grief from his family and the public for even taking the case. His wife protested the entire way. His home and children were placed in danger when his house was riddled with bullets from protesters. At one point in the film, James Donovan and Rudolph Abel were having a conversation in prison about the case. Abel looked at Donovan and the conversation went like this:

Rudof Abel (Spy): Standing there like that you reminded me of the man that used to come to our house when I was young. My father used to say: “watch this man”. So I did. Every time he came. And never once did he do anything remarkable.

James Donovan (Lawyer): And I remind you of him?

Rudof Abel (Spy): This one time, I was at the age of your son, our house was overrun by partisan border guards. Dozens of them. My father was beaten, my mother was beaten, and this man, my father’s friend, he was beaten. And I watched this man. Every time they hit him, he stood back up again. So they hit him harder. Still he got back to his feet. I think because of this they stopped the beating. They let him live. ‘Stoikiy muzhik’. I remember them saying. ”. Which sort of means like uh, ‘standing man’… standing man…Standing Man!!!

What a powerful moment in the film to me and what a powerful compliment of a man’s character. I have thought about that a lot. Standing Man!! Can people look at us and tell what we are standing for? Are we willing to risk our reputations and even our lives for what we believe in? James Donovan risked it all to make sure this Russian spy had adequate legal representation. He eventually convinced the judge that it would be better to sentence Abel to prison rather than execute him with the theory that the United States may need him as a bargaining chip somewhere down the road. Of course, that brought on even more hatred and resistance from the press and the public because they wanted him hanged.

Several years later (1960) one of our U-2 spy planes was shot down over Russia and the pilot (Gary Powers) was captured. The movie went on to show how James Donovan was used to facilitate the swap of Abel for Powers and one more American that was being held in East Berlin.

I remember another man that could be described as a “Standing Man” and that man was Jesus Christ. Regardless of the accusations, lies, and insults that were thrown His way, he stood, even to death on a cross. He is our advocate and attorney that testifies for us in Heaven. He will not run off when our enemy accuses us. He will never leave us nor forsake us and will always stick closer than a brother. Do we have that type of loyalty and determination? Could people look at us and see a “Standing Man” or “Standing Woman”. I sure hope so!!!

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)


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