Private First Class Desmond Doss was an inspiring example of living by your convictions.
Doss was a conscientious objector who served as a medic during World War II. He was so devout to his beliefs that he refused to carry a rifle – a decision that angered his fellow soldiers, who ostracized him, and his superiors, who sought to have him court-martialed. Despite it all, Doss insisted on going into battle without a weapon.
In Hacksaw Ridge, the movie about his life, Private Doss defended his actions by saying, “I have the passion to serve as a medic. Right in the middle of the other guys. No less danger, but while everybody else is taking life, I’ll be saving it.”
And save lives he did. In April 1945, during the battle for Okinawa, Private Doss evaded heavy machine gun fire to carry wounded men to safety. Each time he saved someone, he prayed, “Please, Lord, help me get one more.” By the end of the firefight, he had rescued 75 men.
Private Doss labelled himself a conscientious cooperator instead of a conscientious objector because he did what he could to bring life and hope to desperate situations.
To live in a world that’s filled with courage, faith, and sacrificial love, each of us must live out those values when it counts (James 2:17). Heroes don’t wear capes. They’re everyday people who believe so deeply in what’s right that they just do it, instinctually, no matter how extraordinary the situation.