James 2. 12-13 NASB
“So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.”
Mercy is expensive and requires sacrifice. Judgment is cheap and easy to give. Like most things of value, mercy is rare. You can find judgment everywhere. Merciful people set themselves apart from the crowd. Any fool can pass judgment. Cowards judge. It takes courage to show mercy.
I saw a TV show when I was a kid that I have never forgotten. I think the role of the unlikely hero was played by Sammy Davis Jr., but I’m not certain. It was probably over 50 years ago when the program first aired.
A new soldier joined the regiment and quickly became the butt of everyone’s bad humor. He was picked on relentlessly by the other men in the barracks and was generally considered to be a wimp. The bullies thought up a joke that would further humiliate the new guy. They found a deactivated hand grenade and planned to toss it at the new recruit’s feet during the next gathering of the troops. The soldiers figured he’d run for his life in terror and everyone would have a good laugh at his expense.
On the day of the big gag the tormenters quietly rolled the unloaded grenade toward their victim and shouted, “Grenade! Run!” What happened next was a real bombshell. The so-called wimp fell on the grenade in an effort to save the men of his unit commanding them with what he thought was his last breath, “Run! Save yourselves!” The silence that followed was deafening. The entire platoon was choked with shame. That day real cowardice and real courage were exposed. 
Every time I think of the TV program, I well up with tears. I’m fighting to hold them back right now. The hero in this television show reminds me of Jesus. I’m glad Jesus showed me mercy, instead of the judgment I deserved. Jesus fell on the grenade for me.
The incredible picture at top is by former Green Beret and internationally renowned photojournalist Michael Yon who describes the scene in his book Moment of Truth in Iraq (Richard Vigilante Books, 2008, p. 85). Despite the valiant attempts of soldiers Sergeant Walt Gaya and Major Mark Bieger (shown above carrying the child), the little Iraqi girl named Farah died from a senseless suicide terrorist bombing on May 5, 2005. Check out Michael Yon's online magazine at http://www.michaelyon-online.com/.
 There are real soldiers who have given their lives by falling on real grenades to save their comrades. They are real heroes. The theme of today's blog entry is based on a story which has been repeated in other television and movie accounts of war. I think the original show was called "The Patsy" and aired on GE Theater. Apparently, all copies of this film have been lost. In an episode of M*A*S*H for example, Maxwell Klinger plays a joke on the haughty Charles Winchester by dropping a rubber grenade on the floor. Much to Klinger’s surprise, Winchester promptly falls on the grenade.