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Dig Out the Dying

Evangelism Heroism Hopelessness

Source: “Dramatic Moment Skier Rescued a Snowboarder Who Was Buried Head First in Snow and Running Out of Air” By Andy Corbley, published Apr 5, 2023, retrieved 4/12/23

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-04-12

Scripture: Luke 10:33 ; Mark 16:15

Author: Illustration Exchange


Skier Francis Zuber was zipping down the tree lined slopes of Mt. Baker in northwestern Washington state when he lost control and ended up toppling into the deep powder off the trail. As he worked to right himself, he noticed a snow board protruding from a deep drift. This alone was an unusual sight. But crazier still, the board was moving!

It took him only moments to realize that someone was attached to that board, but apparently buried upside down under the depths of the drift.

He worked quickly to take off his skis so he could make his way to the stranded snowboarder, where he then began feverishly digging to extricate him. Breathless and weary, he just kept scraping at the snow looking for any signs of life. He eventually pulled out a small, yellow rescue shovel (that's one well prepared skier!) to enhance his efforts.

“Hold on! I’m coming! … Hey, you gonna be alright? Can you hear me?”

As he freed the trapped boarder's arms, he exclaimed, “Come on! Help me out! You okay? You alright?”

When he finally reached and uncovered the victim’s helmet, he said with relief, “Okay, you’re good. You’re good. I gotcha. You okay? Can you breathe?

A quiet “yeah” can be heard from beneath the helmet.

“Okay” said Zuber breathlessly, “we’re both gonna just catch our breath and then I’m gonna dig you out, okay?”

Though faint and weak, one can hear the gratitude in the simple, relieved reply, “Thank you.”

Zuber, an unlikely and unexpected hero, stepped up to rescue a stranger from certain death.

We only have such clear and comprehensive details of the harrowing rescue because Zuber was wearing a sports camera on his helmet, recording every moment.

Be sure to click here to watch the heart-pounding video in its entirety.


Like an exuberant skier, we go zipping over the rough and tumble slopes of this life, so engrossed in our own thrills (and spills), that we fail to notice the mass of humanity all around us, buried upside down in the drifts of life — dying people “stuck” in despair, hopelessness, full of fear and regret, feeling utterly alone and invisible.

No doubt that’s how the bruised and beaten man felt, left for dead by robbers on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem, as he lay dying in the street. Many passed by him, walked around him, ignored him. Then one man finally noticed him, took pity, and stepped in to help.

“… and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him” (Luke 10:33b-34, NIV).

An unlikely, unexpected hero, the Samaritan, stepped up to save a dying man.

Does God call us to anything less? No! In fact, He calls us to something more. He calls us to not just “happen” upon these dying ones, but actively, intentionally, purposefully keep our eyes peeled for them, peeled for any signs of life, so that we can jump into action to offer them a life line — the good news of the Gospel.

Don’t turn a blind eye. Be a hero! Look for those whose lives are buried under the burdens of life without Jesus. And with the same feverish urgency and intensity of Francis Zuber, go dig them out!

Then listen for the breathless, relieved reply ... "Thank you."

"He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation" (Mark 16:15, NIV).

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" (Romans 10:14, NIV).

A Lesson from a Crash Landing

Preparation Heroism Obedience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-04-27

Author: Illustration Exchange


 On January 15, 2009, US Airways flight 1549 collided with a flock of seagulls shortly after liftoff from La Guardia airport in New York City.  The birds congested both engines, causing them to fail and leave the pilots without any power to continue flying.  With only seconds to act, Captain Sullenberger contemplated a return to the airport, but realized they weren't going to make it. The only option was to ditch in the Hudson River. After following an emergency checklist with his crew, Sullenberger guided the plane down just beyond the George Washington Bridge and successfully landed in the river. An aviation expert later called it "...the most successful ditching in aviation history."

After an investigation, all were in agreement that Captain Sullenberger had done everything "by the book."  Had he made an error in judgment, or failed to follow the emergency procedures, it’s very likely that all 150 passengers and 5 crew members would be dead right now. But his preparation, experience, and determination to follow procedures, even with only seconds to act, turned him into a hero. 


God's Word equips us with the wisdom and knowledge we need to respond the right way when we encounter challenges and hardships. If we, like Captain Sullenberger, commit ourselves to operating "by the book," we'll be equipped to deal with life's challenges quickly and decisively, averting what could be serious consequences.

Superheroes All

Redemption Heroism New Birth

Source: “Superheroes movies like Avengers Assemble should not be scorned: From Superman to Batman, superhero films have much to teach us about faith and humanity,” THE GUARDIAN Film Blog, posted 4/19/12

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-08-27

Author: Illustration Exchange


With the Summer 2012 release of the latest superhero blockbuster movie--THE AVENGERS--one film critic thinks the action genre has more to offer than just great special effects:

“In our increasingly secular society, with so many disparate gods and different faiths, superhero films present a unique canvas upon which our shared hopes, dreams and apocalyptic nightmares can be projected and played out. Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama; fathers and sons, martyred heroes, star-crossed lovers, the deaths of kings – stories that taught us of the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. It's the everyday stuff of every man's life, and we love it. It sounds cliché, but superheroes can be lonely, vain, arrogant and proud. Often they overcome these human frailties for the greater good. The possibility of redemption is right around the corner, but we have to earn it.”


Ironically, it's in real life that we are presented with the possibility of being real superheroes—overcoming our “human frailties for the greater good.” It's true, our “redemption IS right around the corner.” But we don’t have to “earn” it—indeed, we can’t. Redemption has been earned for us through the completed work of Christ on the cross. We need only acknowledge, as this film blogger describes it, the “danger of hubris pride and the primacy essential necessity of humility in order to reach out and receive it, and BAM, POW, ZAP, we become a new creation in Christ, able to do ALL things through His power (Philippians 4:13).

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7, cf Colossians 1:14). 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Illustration Exchange

I Pledge Allegiance to the Savior

Devotion Determination Heroism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-30

Scripture: Philippians 3:20

Author: Senator John McCain

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The Ever-Present Man of Steel

Heroism Jesus, Savior Fact or Fiction?

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-09

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:51 ; Revelation 22:20

Author: Illustration Exchange

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The Red Letters

Sacrifice Death Heroism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-06-16

Scripture: John 10:15

Author: Nietzsche / Illustration Exchange

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Daring Dad Dives for Drowning Toddler

Fatherhood Heroism Children

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2012-06-12

Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:4


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The Grunts of the City

Servanthood Heroism Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-01-16

Scripture: Matthew 20:16

Author: Peggy Noonan

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War Follows Soldier Home

War Spiritual Warfare Heroism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-26

Scripture: Ephesians 6:12

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Thank You for Lending Me Your Hero

Thankfulness Heroism Hope

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-11-16

Scripture: Matthew 5:3

Author: Shaun Usher, Editor, Letters of Note

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