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Father Receives Scars While Rescuing His Son during a Tsunami

Wayne Cordeiro tells the story about a church member named Bully, a gentle man who got his nickname from his days of barking orders at construction sites. After Cordeiro noticed the scars on Bully's hands, he asked him, "Bully, how'd you get so many cuts?" Bully told the following story about a tsunami that hit the Hawaiian Island in the 1960s:

I was working above the bay that our home overlooks. One morning, the tide receded so much that the children ran out to catch fish in the tide pools left behind. We'd never witnessed the tide so low before, and it gave the kids an unprecedented opportunity to play and romp through the reefs that now protruded above the waterline like newly formed islands in the ocean. But what we didn't know was that the ocean was preparing to unleash the largest tsunami our sleepy little town had ever experienced.
Within minutes, a sixty-foot wave charged our unsuspecting town with a force we'd never seen before. The hungry waters rushed inland. Like bony fingers, the waters scratched and pulled homes, cars, possessions, and people back into a watery grave. The devastating power of that wave left in its wake twisted buildings, shattered windows, splintered homes, and broken dreams. I ran as fast as I could to our home, where I found my wife sobbing uncontrollably. "Robby is missing," she shouted. "I can't find Robby!"
Robby was our six-month-old child who was asleep in the house when the ocean raged against our helpless village. I was frantic as I looked over the shore strewn with the remains of the frail stick houses that were now piled in heaps along the sands. Realizing that another wave may soon be following, I began running on top of the wooden structures, tearing up pieces of twisted corrugated roofs that were ripped like discarded remains of a demolition project. I tore up one piece after another running over boards and broken beams until I heard the whimpering of a child under one of the mattresses that had gotten lodged beneath an overturned car.
I reached under and pulled up my little son, Robby. I tucked him under my arm like a football player running for the end zone, then I sprinted back over the debris until I reached my wife. We ran for higher ground, hugging our child and one another, thanking God for his mercy.

Just then, my wife said, "Bully, your feet and your hands. You're covered in blood!"

I had been wearing tennis shoes, and I didn't realize that as I ran over the wreckage, I was stepping on protruding nails and screws that had been exposed in the rubble. And as I pulled back the torn corrugated roofing looking for Robby, the sharp edges tore into my hand …. I was so intent on finding my boy that nothing else mattered.

Possible Preaching Applications: (1) Like the father in this illustration, Jesus was so intent on finding us that he experienced the pain and judgment of the cross to save us. (2) As followers of Christ we should display the passion and sacrificial love of this father to seek and save lost people. (3) Bully demonstrates the kind of sacrificial leadership that should mark every father as he tries to love and lead his family.

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