Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. - Isaiah 59:1
Through a DNA test, I have discovered that I am 98% German with a little Scandinavian heritage making up the other 2%. One of my ancestors led an interesting and inspiring life.
My grandfather’s cousin was Henry Gerecke. Have you heard of him? I hadn’t either until I read a book about him. Henry Gerecke, of German descent, was a Lutheran minister in St. Louis, Missouri, where he lived with his wife and three sons. His two older sons enlisted in World War II and fought valiantly. This inspired Henry Gerecke to also enlist as an army chaplain. He served in England from 1943 until the end of the war. Ready to head home to his family, Chaplain Gerecke was recruited for his most difficult and interesting task. He was asked to be the chaplain for the German Nazis on trial in Nuremburg.
Because he was fluent in German, he seemed perfect for this job. However, how does one put aside the horrors of what took place by the Germans and see these men as redeemable? I’m not sure I could do that. But Henry Gerecke felt it was God’s calling to serve Him as one of the chaplains to these seemingly horrible men. He was able to separate himself from their horrific actions and look at them as men in need of a Savior. In the book, Mission at Nuremburg, Henry Gerecke’s life is followed as he ministers to Hermann Goering, Albert Speer, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and other imprisoned Nazis as they awaited trial. He had the unique opportunity to speak the saving words of salvation into the lives of each of these men.
My ancestor’s life challenges me to see everyone as redeemable. God’s hand is not too short to save anyone.
Grace Community Church
Raleigh, North Carolina
One-Year Bible Reading