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If you do an image search on the internet for love, you’ll likely get a page of results showing red hearts in Valentine’s Day style. You may get a couple of pictures of hands forming a heart outline or of a young couple embracing. Some of the pictures will be of the word love. But you probably won’t get a picture of Kristie Bennard.
On October 6th of this year, two pit bulls attacked a 5-month-old boy and his 2-year-old sister at their home near Memphis, Tennessee. Their mother, 30-year-old Kristie Bennard, ran to the rescue. She tried to stop the attack, and lay down on top of her daughter Lilly. The dogs turned on Kristie and attacked her. The attack continued for ten minutes. The two children died. Their mother was transported to the hospital in critical condition. Bite marks covered her body and face. She received an uncountable number of stitches. The dogs were euthanized.*
This is a tragic story, but also a heroic one. The actions of the mother illustrate love. I Corinthians 13:7 says love “always protects.” (NIV) The word used in the original means “to protect or preserve by covering.” Kristie protected her child by covering Lilly with her own body.
This also reminds us of Jesus’ love for us. He protected us from judgement by offering his body on the cross. Today, who do you know who needs protection. How will you love that person?
*Natalie Neysa Alund, “Family dogs kill 2 Tennessee children, injure mom who tried to stop mauling, family says,” USA Today, October 8, 2022, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2022/10/08/2-children-killed-mother-hospitalized-after-tennessee-dog-mauling/8219201001/
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.