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Sunday, July 15, 2007

James Reddick: Sacrifice of a father

It was the most natural thing for an eastern shepherd to risk his life
in defense of his flock. The true shepherd never hesitated to risk and
even to lay down his life for the sheep.

One Saturday a dentist called James Reddick decided to teach
his twelve year old daughter and eleven year old son the joy of mountain
walking. He took them up on to Washington's Mount Rainier. All was going
well and they were having a great time, until a sudden storm blew up
that battered them with hurricane force winds and thick wet sheets of
snow. A blinding white-out made it impossible to see or move on the
steep slopes.

So James laboriously dug an oblong trench with his small aluminian mess
kit, then he tucked his children into sleeping bags away from the
entrance. He covered the entrance with tarpaulin which just kept blowing
away, exposing the trench to the swirling snow outside.

Reddick discovered that the only way to hold down the tarpaulin was to
lie directly across the opening, using his own body weight. His body
protected his son and daughter from the howling wind.

Two days passed before rescuers spotted the corner of a rucksack
protruding from the deep snow. They rushed to the site hoping that the
snow covered mound would contain their three missing mountaineers.

Inside they found Sharon and David Reddick very much alive, but the cold

and stiff body of their father was laid against one wall of the snow
cave. He had taken the "cold spot" by using his own body as the outer

James Reddick made an amazing decision of love when he decided to
sacrifice of his life so that his children could live.

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