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Devotion 31

Kilroy Was Here!

Many of you may have heard the expression "Kilroy was here!" I was reminded of it during our a cruise to Nassau in the Bahamas, in February.*

We were hanging over the railing as we docked, watching the tugboats work their magic and the crewmen manipulate the huge ship into the dock with massive ropes. I also noticed all sorts of names painted along the side of the pier:

Davao Ron Olon

Joe Nesty Muzumi

Ivan Vado Rodel

Nosma Sam Marlon

And that's not all of them! What a story you could make up about each them!

All had one thing in the common: They wanted to be remembered.

And that's what Kilroy was all about.

The saying originated in the Army during World Was II. It was a way of saying, "We were here; I was here!"

William Faulkner his place:

"Really the writer doesn't want success. . . .He knows he has a short span of life, that the day will come when he must pass through the wall of oblivion, and he wants to leave a scratch on that wall—Kilroy was here— that somebody a hundred years, or a thousand years later will see."**

Tucked in with all those names, however, was a remembrance of Someone already known to a person who was thinking about others more than himself:

"Christo Te Ama," it read.

"How wonderful!" I thought. Anyone who knows our alphabet could understand it: Christ loves you. How many passengers on how many ships had been drawn to the message in the midst of their fun-seeking holiday?

"Christ loves you." The greatest words in the world!

The name Christ is above every name; it is known throughout the world.

His greatest attribute was emblazoned on a crude log: love.

And the recipient of that love was included: you.

It was small thing for a person to do, but it has eternal implications. Who knows how many hearts were turned from self-absorption to the love of Christ?

We often think we have to be great, rich, well-known, charismatic, or all of the above to make a difference.

But the painting of that three-word message is a true success story. Just the response of one heart is enough of a reward. True, many won't see it, and most who do won't heed it, but how valuable is one soul?

Remember the story of the one lost sheep? How much was that sheep worth to the shepherd? The risk of his life. ***

For the Shepherd of the soul the cost was His life for one soul. Just one. Now whose would that be? Mine? Yours?****

The answer? Any one of us was worth the price.

Does that sound like a God who doesn't know us, who doesn't care?

I don't think so.

* An experience unlikely to be repeated; "We'll fly, thank you very much!"

** From Faulkner in the University, 1959, Session 8, quoted in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th edition, John Bartlett, with Justin Kaplan, general editor. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1992.

*** Luke 15:3-7, Matthew 18:11-14

****John 10:14

For Further Consideration:

John 10:1-18


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