The Purple Heart in George Washington's time was not given for being wounded. This award went to ordinary soldiers for doing something of merit—something that would find favor in the eyes of God. Washington knew they couldn't win if they weren't on God's side. And if they were on God's side, God would bless them.
I've been looking for people who deserve a George Washington badge of merit. Many of you have submitted nominations. Thank you for the love, respect, and consideration you have shown in doing so.
From your hundreds of nominations, we have narrowed it down to three finalists. Now, it's up to you to decide who gets this honor.
Here are this week's candidates:
1. Bill, the Reliable
Bill is a 70 year old man living in the hills of West Virginia. He was nominated by his neighbor, a paraplegic combat veteran, who says, because he likes to stay active, he gets himself into “all kinds of troubles.” Anytime he finds himself in one of these situations, Bill is his first call.
His nominator wrote:
Bill will check on me at least once a day, sometimes twice, and even more if he knows my wife is gone or he hears me tinkering around outside or in the garage… If he hears me banging, grinding, welding, or whatever, he will walk over to see if I am ok, or need any help…all I need to do is make a phone call and Bill comes running to help. Oftentimes, he hears me coming, and is in the driveway or field waiting on me before I even get the chance to call.
Bill tends to his neighbors’ farm free of charge, and even lets his neighbors’ cattle graze on his property. If Bill hears his neighbor mowing the grass, he gets right out there on his mower to help him. He even walks his neighbor's 11-year-old dog on the mile hike to pick up the mail for him. His nominator said he can always count on Bill for anything he needs. All of this while having a family of his own to care for, and being 70 years old himself.
His nominator said:
Bill is a living example of what I believe Jesus intended when He said "You should Love your Neighbor as yourself!"
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:34)
2. Heather, the Selfless
Heather was nominated for her service to the homeless community of Anchorage, Alaska. Her nominator described her, saying:
She knows hundreds of the homeless by name, and knows their stories too, and they love her. She has invited them into her home, clothed them, fed them, lovingly washed maggots out of their hair, de-escalated fights and disarmed them. She plans sober outings with them to encourage them to stop drinking, and celebrates with them when they do.
Heather has even sustained injuries from the people she serves, yet she forgives and loves anyway. Heather has a heart for the people that most forget about. Her nominator wrote:
While the rest of us only see a brief mention in the news of a body found, or the number of homeless that didn't survive the dip in temperatures, she worries for them on cold nights, and grieves for them when they pass away. … She walks this life like Jesus more than anyone I have ever know.
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:40)
3. Conley, the Good
Conley is an eleven year old boy from North Carolina.
His father describes him as "the most intelligent, trustworthy, reliable, kind hearted, and remarkable 11-year-old I know.”
Conley holds doors open for everyone, and makes sure to say “ma’am,” “sir,” “please,” and “thank you.” At his Little League game, one of his teammates hit a line drive, and the ball hit a player on the opposite team right in the chest. The umpires, coaches, and Conley all instinctively ran over to him to help. He’s become a fan favorite at the ballpark.
At home, his Dad says:
We can ask him to do something, and with little to no grumbling at all he does it. He takes the dog out, he takes the trash out, he carries the mail up to my dad's house next door, he helps me outside, he helps his mom cook, and helps with the garden.
But most importantly, in his Dad’s view, is that he takes care of his little brother.
Jamie (his little brother) can call for him, and Conley will stop whatever he's doing to go help him. Conley fixes lunch everyday for Jamie, then fixes his own lunch. Conley changed Jamie's diapers when he was still wearing diapers.
On top of all that, Conley loves U.S. history, and knows that all of his blessings come from God. We can only pray the next generation is made up of kids like Conley.
Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right. (Proverbs 20:11)
Who do you think deserves a badge of merit? Cast your vote below: