Sunday, 22 June 2014

No Time for Fear

He carried around pepper spray “just in case,” says the roommate of Jon Meis. Last week a gunman stalked into Miller Hall on the campus of Seattle Pacific University and fatally shot one student and wounded two others. That’s when Meis made a split-second decision ...

As the gunman stopped to reload his weapon in blood-splattered Miller Hall, Meis, 22, a senior engineering student from Renton, saw an opportunity, his roommate said Thursday night. Meis, who was working at the time as a monitor who sits at a desk in the lobby, near the Hall’s front door, quickly moved in to pepper-spray the gunman, then he tackled him to the ground. Police arriving moments later moved in to handcuff and arrest the suspect, other witnesses said.

Many people are calling Jon a hero, but he not only shrugs off the accolades, he didn’t even want to be interviewed by the media. He’s described by friends as quiet, gentle, and outdoorsy. His actions were not self-serving. He’s ready to graduate, get married, and begin life beyond college.

Almost without thought, Meis, a young man with a deep Christian faith, stepped into a violent situation where he could have lost his life. Would you have picked him out as a brave warrior from his looks? In an NPR piece by Laurel Dalrymple, she states, “You can't identify a hero from the outside. You might not suspect that Jon Meis … who has been described as private and gentle, would tackle and subdue a gunman Thursday, inspiring others to help hold down the attacker until police arrived. Would those other students have acted if Meis had not?”

As we near the soon coming of Christ, the Bible predicts an increase in the number of brutal criminals who live without self-control (2 Timothy 3:3). Jesus also said of our time that people’s hearts would fail them for fear (Luke 21:26). But God tells us to be strong and courageous and not be terrified (Joshua 1:9). It is inspiring to see unselfish and fearless heroes stand up in the face of danger.

When Jesus stepped into our world, He confronted evil face to face and it cost Him His life. As the final events on our planet unravel and we continue to hear of senseless shootings in Seattle, Las Vegas, Karachi, or Santa Barbara, let’s remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us so that we do not need to live in fear.

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