“What thou, my Lord, hast suffered was all for sinners’ gain; mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain…” (“O Sacred Head, Now Wounded", attr. Bernard of Clairvaux [1091-1153]).

A remarkable story of heroism has stuck with me ever since I heard it on the news recently. It seems fitting to share on this Good Friday.

A 22 year-old nanny in Shelbyville, KY named Alyson Myatt rescued her charge, 5 year-old Aden Hawes, when the house caught on fire due to a faulty bathroom ceiling fan. She ran through the 400-degree flames to get to the boy. Alyson suffered second- and third-degree burns on her right hand and both feet. But despite those terribly painful injuries, she grabbed Aden, got out of the house, and drove to a neighbor’s for help.

In an interview, Alyson continued to show herself a hero: "I’m just happy Aden’s OK. That he wasn’t on fire…. I didn’t even think about me getting burned. I care for the kid a lot."

Aden’s dad has observed: “There’s no words to put how grateful I am to have my son with me, how grateful I am to have Alyson in our world, and it’s just one of those things you can’t put any value on…. There’s no price to be paid. It’s a debt that will never be able to be repaid”

Contrast Alyson Myatt’s actions with those of so-called “leaders” in the Church and the churches whose main agenda seems not to be to save others or care for their hurt, but to cover their own failings or those of their superiors, protect the bottom line or insist on some rule or irrelevant doctrine. Which, I ask, is the more Christlike: what Alyson Myatt did or what is all too common in the institution that is supposed to be the body of Christ on Earth?

I think it’s a no-brainer.

© 2010 Tom Cheatham