“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption,
and this mortal has been put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass
the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’ “
– 1 Corinthians 15:54 –

Laura Hillenbrand summarized the life of Louis Zamperini (1917-2014), an American athlete with Italian roots, in the book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resillience, and Redemption. Today the book has become a bestseller.

Louis had a difficult childhood. Supported by his family, he decided to train hard, and quit consuming alcohol and tobacco. Soon, he began to win races. In 1934 he won the school record for the mile and won a scholarship to the University of Southern California.

He went on to compete in the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936 in the 500-meter races, finished in eight place, and beat the record with a sub-60-second final lap. At nineteen years of age, he was the youngest Olympic athlete on the American team.

Zamperini enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1941. He was deployed to the PAcific Islands as a bombardier. In 1943 his plane went down in the ocean. Eight of the eleven men on the plane died.

The three survivors (Zamperini, McNamara, and Phillips), with little food and no water, lived on rainwater, fish, and birds – which they ate raw – while they defended themselves against constant shark attacks and storms. They were shot at with machine guns several times by a Japanese bomber. McNamara died after thirty-three days at sea.

On the forty-seventh day adrift, Zamperini and Phillips arrived at the Marshall Islands, where they were captured by Japanese sailors. They were taken prisoner, severely beaten, and mistreated, until the end of the war in August 1945.

Years later, Zamperini accepted Christ, became a preacher, and went to find his torturers to offer them forgiveness; many of them were converted. He died on July 2014 at the age of ninety-seven, in his home in Los Angeles, from pneumonia.

His story worth imitating because of his unbreakable valor and invincible spirit. A fighter who overcame everything: prejudice, injustice, being shot, being shipwrecked, hunger, sharks, mistreatment, machine guns, torture, jail, and hatred. He overcame almost everything; in the end, pneumonia overpowered him.

Paul says that when Jesus returns, “the corruptible
[will] put on incorruption, and the mortal [will] put on immortality.”
The stinger which has injected us with deadly poison will be destroyed.
The last taste of pain will be to end all pain.
It will be the death of death.
From then on, we will be unbreakable,
invincible, and immortal… forever!

May the Lord bless you, have a blessed day…