When the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius destroyed the city [of Pompeii in A.D. 79], many people were buried in the ruins. Some took cover underground, and the place became their burial chamber. Those who chose a high hiding place were also unable to escape destruction. But a Roman sentinel was found at the city gate, his hands still grasping his weapon. That was where he had been placed by the captain. While the earth shook beneath him, while the flood of ashes and cinders overwhelmed him, he stood at his post; and it was there he was found a thousand years later. (Mark S. Wheeler, “Marks of a Servant,” Discipleship Journal, Nov/Dec 1987)

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