I remember reading a tumblr post months ago comparing Erwin Smith to Reinhard Heydrich, the notorious Nazi Chief of Police and one of the main architects of the Holocaust, and I felt this was such a complete disservice to Erwin. The blond hair aside (one of Heydrich’s nicknames was The Blond Beast), these two men have absolutely nothing in common.
Now, it is common knowledge that Isayama patterned Erwin after Erwin Rommel, also known as the Desert Fox, the legendary Nazi commander who ultimately turned against Adolf Hitler, but there is another Nazi officer whom I feel Erwin has a lot in common.
I present to you Count Claus Philipp Maria Justinian von Stauffenberg, pictured above (and yes, Tom Cruise played him in the film, Valkyrie). The physical similarities are striking to say the least. Moreover, consider the other factors. Count von Stauffenberg was:
- very well educated and cultivated
- not perfect in his initial views about Adolf Hitler but with a strong moral compass, which meant he never turned a blind eye to all the Nazi atrocities when so many of his countrymen did
- decorated for bravery after serving on the same front as Erwin Rommel, and suffered severe injuries resulting in the loss of his left eye, his right hand, and two fingers on his left hand in the course of duty
- a rising army Nazi officer, nevertheless, he expressed outrage and shock at the ill treatment and killing of Jews by Nazi Germany
- with his resolve, organisational abilities, and radical approach, he put an end to inactivity caused by doubts and became the driving force in the planning and carrying out of Operation Vallkyrie, the failed 1944 assassination plot against Adolf Hitler
- aware that he was committing treason, he told his junior officer quite openly, as early as 1943,
“ich betreibe mit allen mir zur Verfügung stehenden Mitteln den Hochverrat…” (“I am committing high treason with all means at my disposal….”)
- justified his actions by citing his right under natural law (“Naturrecht”) to defend millions of people’s lives from the criminal aggressions of Hitler
- knew increasingly that the plot would fail, but carried on
as this would be the only way to prove to the world that the Hitler regime and Germany were not one and the same and that not all Germans supported the regime
- was caught after incurring a gunshot wound to the shoulder
and executed at the age of 36 for his role in the failed July plot. His brother Berthold was also tried and executed by slow strangulation, reportedly by means of piano wires
- a hero and a LEGEND, just like Erwin Smith. Their sacrfices are not in vain. Their stories will be heard long after they have passed on.
They were tears of holding back words and true feeling
I should’ve been more honest with myself. The act that I put up only ended up hurting me.
1. first step in giving yourself to Christ is realizing why you need Him in your life, which I took for granted. I need Him because I’m a sinner in need of grace and mercy, a sinner who is weak at all points and hopeless without Christ in my life. I need Him because He is my only shelter. How else could I go on in this world. Christ is my life saver, my only true support, and foundation. but why am I scared to let him take the wheel.
2. second is trusting God, and believing his prophetic promises that He has in store for us. I didn’t believe that Christ could work through, when I look at my self I see a shy whimp hiding behind a fake stature. But do you know what Christ sees me as, He sees me as His child, as something beautiful and worthwhile sacrificing His own life to save. At that I’m speechless.
I’ve always thought that the leadership role wasn’t for me, I’m too shy I say to myself, I’m not born to be a leader but a helper i say to myself, always. I always back down from leadership roles and feel overwhelmed when I have to lead. (tears coming). And God I ask you to please forgive me for not think you could work in and through me. Forgive for not believing and your promises to me, forgive Father for not trusting in you, and for not giving myself up to you, please forgive me.
This is a road that I don’t want to take anymore, so you asked why I cried?
I wished that I could be a strong leader, that over night I would change into this fantastic leader, but you know that a friend told me, “leaders are not born are made”, and as I think about it it really is true, and through God I know I will become a leader in His community. Moses, Aaron, Abraham, Jesus Disciples, Nehemiah, all put their trust in God and He blessed them and turn them into strong leaders of His people.
Today, I finally started the book Radical by David Platt. Instantly, I was struck with thoughts of “Am I fulfilling my role as a Christian?” I feel the appropriate answer would be a big, giant “NO.” At least I’m aware of this. I have reasons to explain this failure but none actually justify it. I have no excuses, other than I’ve been selfish.
Platt tells a story about people sacrificing their lives to worship this Christ, Savior, God. He talks about people whose only need when it comes to worship is God’s Word. He compares to this to the “American Dream” and asks if we would be willing to give up the comfortable for only the book and God’s people (although I hope when he said cool music he only meant the instruments and sound board and speakers because if I can’t sing, I AM DONE :-) ). My first thought was “No, I like the peace and reverence of the videos and blaring music.” But I continued my thoughts and decided I’m totally ok with worship just being God’s Word and God’s people (I won’t speak for everyone, though).
Platt then reminds us of several stories about how Christ challenges us to GIVE UP EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING, even as far as saying to the your parents. I the went back to my personal life. What am I “hoarding” to prevent my relationship with Christ from growing? I instantly started making a list of things I have but don’t need. Let me just say, that list is LONG! In all this thought processing I feel like we need a “12 Step Program to Refinding Christ.” (I’m sure there is one out there somewhere) I guess I’m continually on step 1 right now: First step is admitting you have a problem.
I’m tired of just being on step 1 though. I’ve made several REALLY big changes in the last several months, so I’d say while I’m on a roll I might as well continue this process.
Several weeks ago I was visiting a church and my friend gave the offertory message. He pulled a story from another book I just had to start reading after I heard this message. The story is from a book called WEIRD by Craig Groeshel. He talks about visiting a country in Africa. He was talking with a man who gave him his perception of the world outside of his. He talked about how some people are so rich they own a car, and some even two, and some even a house for their cars (with about 50% of the world living under $2 a day it would be possible for many to think that way about the American middle class).
Thursday is Thanksgiving. As I’m remembering this week what I am eternally thankful for I intend to start my list of things I can live without. It’s time to begin the phases of sacrifice. I know starting with what I can live without sounds selfish and it probably is, but I’ve gotta start somewhere. As many times as I let my own needs fall through the cracks, I let my own needs too many times come before others.
Sacrfice,“ the captain said. "You made one. I made one. We all made them. But you were angry over yours. You kept thinking about what you lost. You didn’t get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.