The image of a toddler hanging from a balcony was all over the news this past week. So was the image of the man many are calling “spiderman.” This isn’t Peter Parker, but Mamoudou Gassama, the 22-year-old Malian immigrant who scaled up the face of a Paris apartment to rescue that toddler. (The toddler’s dad, by the way, had left to play a game on his phone.) As a result of Mamoudou’s bravery, he was instantly granted French citizenship.
The mayor of Paris called him.
The fire department offered him a job. President Emmanuel Macron invited Mamoudou to the Élysée Palace and asked Mamoudou what made him risk his life. Mamoudou replied: “I didn’t think about it, I climbed up and God helped me.” Mamoudou risked his life for a foreign people; for a people with a different skin tone; for a people who have mostly given up on God. Yet it turns out that self-sacrifice – love – is a language everyone speaks. Maybe that’s why the cross of Jesus remains the most riveting event in history.