As the Apostle Paul exhorted in Philippians 2:4, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” In Phoenix, Arizona, a real-life application of these Biblical teachings unfolded when Jim Hollins, a homeless man, took upon himself to rescue a desperate family trapped in a flaming apartment.
In the pre-dawn darkness around 4 a.m., a fire started in an apartment building, where Claudia Jimenez and her two young daughters were asleep. As they tried to flee the apartment, they found themselves stuck; the front door and the stairway were swallowed by the consuming fire. This dangerous scenario sets the stage for an encounter that transcends societal norms and echoes the timeless parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
Upon hearing Claudia’s desperate cries for help, Jim didn’t hesitate but acted decisively. Resembling the valor of biblical heroes like David and Gideon, who trusted God to guide them through seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Jim scaled the side of the burning building. With incredible focus, Jim removed the children, their two dogs, and finally, their mother from the perils of the fire. His quick actions resulted in not just saving physical lives, but also reminded the world about the inherent worth and dignity of every individual—be it a homeless man or a suburban family.
Claudia initially expressed fear at climbing down with Jim, but Jim assured her of her safety, embodying the comforting words found in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Moved by the events, Claudia declared Jim a heaven-sent helper, emphasizing how he was there for her family when nobody else was.
In a society that often overlooks the homeless and downtrodden, labeling them as less than or irrelevant, Jim Hollins stood as a testament to the biblical truth that every human is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and has the capacity for acts of great love and courage. While the world might see a homeless man, in that moment, God saw a vessel of His mercy and compassion.
As you read this awe-inspiring story of courage, altruism, and divine timing, remember that heroism is not the monopoly of the rich or the privileged. It is a quality that can be found in anyone who heeds the call of compassion and steps out in faith.