Today is ANZAC Day. It is one of the most sacred days in Australia. ANZAC Day defines Australia as a nation. It’s a day we remember, honour and celebrate those who have served our country in the armed forces. We remember the sacrifices and suffering others have made on our behalf. Among those was my Pa – Don Germon.
My Pa joined the Australian Army with his twin brother, Gordon. They trained together and prepared to be sent to Papua New Guinea to fight against the Japanese WWII. Pa’s twin saw action but Pa did not. As the troops moved North to be deployed, Pa was removed from the convoy suffering from lupus. He never returned to his unit. I think not fighting was something he regretted for the remainder of his life.
Why Pa is an ANZAC Hero.
To me, Pa is an ANZAC hero – not because of battle but because of who he was. He was many things – a rabbit trapper, farmer, ambulance driver, milk man and bus driver (and probably a whole bunch more.) But above all these things, he was a follower of Jesus.
I don’t remember Pa talking about his faith in God but it was there. His life displayed his faith, and it could be heard throughout his house in the songs he whistled. He was active in the life of his church. And I vividly remember him kneeling beside my bed praying with me before bedtime. His was a faith I didn’t hear but couldn’t help but be aware of.
I think his time for others was the defining aspect of his spiritual life. He would stop and talk to people everywhere he went. No one was unworthy of his time. He visited sick people and helped people in need. I can imagine he, like Jesus, would talk to a Samaritan woman getting water (John 4), or a man who had climbed a tree (Luke 19). I can picture him chatting to an Ethiopian like Philip (Acts 8). Pa made time to extend the love Jesus had shown him.
Pa’s Legacy and Words for ANZAC Day.
I wish I could introduce you to Pa but I can’t. He died a few years ago. His Bible sits on the shelf next to my desk. It’s a beautiful leather-bound King James. It’s not the Bible I use, but its presence reminds me of the man who faithfully flipped through its pages.
I read Psalm 121 at his funeral. It was an enormous privilege. It is a passage speaking of the faithfulness of God. Today, on ANZAC Day I offer these words to all those who have served our nation.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains –
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
The Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip –
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you –
The LORD is the shade at your right hand;
The sun will not hurt you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm –
He will watch over you life;
The LORD will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forevermore.
Click here to read 12 Ways Christians can Respond to ANZAC Day (and other Commemorative Events) by Graham Hill from theglobalchurchproject.
Leave a comment below about who is a hero to you.