January term is over, and Spring semester has begun. And with Spring semester, a required first-year class called Created and Called for Community. I've only had one class, but I think I'm going to like it. We had to write a "This I Believe" essay that is due tomorrow. I just finished writing it with the help of a previous blog post (yay for deep blog posts!). So, now, before I collapse on the couch in the Flounge (fake lounge), I shall post it for you all to see. It should look a little familiar, just spiced up a little bit. ;-)
This I believe
What is it about sacrifice that touches each of us to the soul? Whether it is someone taking the blame for something you did, or giving their life so you could live, it touches us. In a world that refuses to love simple, sweet beauty, why have we clung to sacrifice as such a beautiful thing? We see it if we look - a mother laboring to bring her child into the world because she cares about it far more than she cares about herself; a father crying out in intercession for his child because he would rather be in pain than see that young one go through it; a friend, a classmate, a comrade, who steps into our place to take the blame for something, or even to give up their life so we can live.
I believe that sacrifice is love.
Why else would sacrifice ring so deeply in each of us? Why else has pain not been eradicated? Oh yes, it hurts. It hurts from our fingertips and toes all the way down to our souls. But we see sacrifice throughout time.
We see Abraham crying as he lifts the knife over his beloved son, Isaac. We see Jephthah weeping when he realizes that, in order to satisfy a vow to the Lord, he must sacrifice his only daughter. We see a man – our Yeshua, our Jesus, our salvation – crying out in agony from the internal torment of the pains of the world being placed on him.
It is no wonder that we know sacrifice through our souls, for it has been planted within us. The seeds of sacrifice are there. It is love that makes those seeds grow. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, NASB).
Once upon a time, a man loved his brother so much that when the enemy aimed his gun at him, the man stepped forward and said, "Take me instead." The brother cried out in defense of his friend, but the man gently told him, "I want you to live. Go to safety." Weeping, the brother ran into the safe zone and watched as the man bravely stood his ground before the enemy.
Some time later, the brother and his friend were in another battle when the friend was shot. The brother crawled forward, cradled his friend in his arms, and brought him back to safety. In the process, he was fatally shot. He waved off help, saying, "Help him first." In the end, the brother died, and the friend lived, but he, like the brother once upon a time, held that sacrifice close to his heart. And, if he has to choose, he will choose sacrifice.