Breaking of Bread – by Mike Stoudt
One of my favorite subjects to read is history, specifically World War II history. And within the subject of history I love to read biographies and autobiographies. The current title I am reading is a two-part biography of Dwight Eisenhower, Army general and our 34th President authored by Steven E. Ambrose. In fact, President Eisenhower is the only person of the 20th Century to achieve the highest status militarily and civilian (General, President of the U.S.). He was appointed Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in WWII. You are probably wondering why I chose this subject. Well, one of the fascinating things I learned about General Eisenhower occurred during the planning of Operation Overlord, the D-Day invasion. A couple of points that Mr. Ambrose makes is
The contrast between Eisenhower and those generals who gloried in war could not have
been greater. Small wonder that millions of Americans in the 1940s felt that if their loved
one had to join the fight, Eisenhower was the general they wanted for his commander. Patton,
BOB-Page Two had such a keen sense of family, of the way in which each casualty meant a grieving family back home. Eisenhower’s concern was of such depth and so genuine that it never left him.
One reason, more rational than emotional, that Eisenhower was concerned about his troops was
that while he, …, the generals, and the admirals could plan, prepare the ground, …, and in other
countless ways try to ensure victory, in the end success rested with the footslogger carrying a
rifle over the beaches of Normandy. … For that reason, Eisenhower spent much of his pre-D-Day time visiting troops in the field. He wanted to let as many men as possible see him. He made certain that every soldier who was to go ashore on D-Day had the opportunity to at least look at the man who was sending him into battle; …He would have the men break ranks, gather around him while he made a short speech, then go around shaking hands.
He always managed to talk to the enlisted men as individuals. Other generals did too, of course, but none had Eisenhower’s touch. BOB-Page Three Eisenhower’s first question invariably was,
“Where are you from?” He wanted to know about their families, what they did in civilian life back in the States, what their postwar plans were.
In other words, General Eisenhower cared about them as people and not just soldiers. Much the same way our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ did during His earthly ministry. During His earthly ministry, He met people where they were, cared about their needs and cared about them as whole people. He showed them, by His love and concern, that they were valuable as a whole and not just a part. From the invalid on the mat who was lowered through the roof and healed to the Samaritan woman at the well. From the feeding of the 5,000 to bringing forth Lazarus from the dead. The New Testament is the biography of Christ. Christ showed them, and us, the way to victory by the way He lived His life and the way He willingly died on the Cross for our sins. He cared for the people back in His day, and by His death and resurrection, He still shows He cares and loves us today.
by Mike Stoudt, Montco, Member