Look at the faces of both these men. By now you know the story. At a #blacklivesmatter protest in London last Saturday men were confronted by hostile far right activists.
Whatever else happened that day, this is the abiding image of the protest; a photo that has circulated the globe. It shows Patrick Hutchinson, a Personal Trainer from Wimbledon, carrying Bryan Male, a Millwall fan and part of the agitated counter protest. It is a powerful image of a man slung over Hutchinson’s shoulders, and being carried to safety.
Motivated by a genuine fear that Male would lose his life, Hutchinson told Good Morning Britain that he feared that the white protester would be killed if he didn’t quickly intervene.
‘I managed to see my mum yesterday and she is constantly in tears. It’s all very overwhelming; she said she is very proud and I saw my nan as well, and she said don’t let anyone say anything bad about you and to keep reading my Bible.”
What an image! And what a picture of the self-less love of a protector and redeemer. A couple of thoughts immediately went through my mind:
In the Bible, Jesus is described as the Good Shepherd
- Jesus is like the shepherd who searches for the lost sheep (Luke 15), leaving the 99 to look for the one that is lost, and then carrying it home on his shoulders;
- And more, Jesus is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11).
This marble statue of Christ, in the Vatican in Rome, tells the Christian story:
Last Saturday we were given a powerful picture of strong love in action, in self-sacrificing service for another.
We too are told by Christ that discipleship means taking up our cross and following Him
If we are to follow the example of the Good Shepherd, we should be putting ourselves in the firing line to bring others home. Whatever it takes, let’s make sure that those who are lost, those who are in danger, and those who are far from home, are rescued by our self-sacrifice and bold endeavours.