My friend Ed Ball sent me this picture this morning. He took it along with others yesterday at the traveling Vietnam Wall which has been visiting Sidney when my son, Evan, and others from his school were there. The other boys in the picture are Ed's son, EJ, and also Jerrod Peterson.
How humbling it is to see these young men standing at the wall looking at names of men born about 50 years before they were born, many of whom only lived to be 6 - 10 years older than these boys are today.
While some folks may point to the cost of these lives ... and it was an enormous cost ... hopes and dreams and aspirations and abilities that were never fully realized on this earth, I look to the enormous value of these lives. How many people were portected, how was our society and the world shaped by what they did ... how many people were saved who then went on to realize their hopes and drams and aspirations and abilities?
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13, NIV)
While this scripture refers primarily to our Lord Jesus' sacrifice for us, it is also respectful of any times someone lays down their life for another. But let's keep in mind it does not mean just physical death ... laying down our lives comes also through our service to others ... through our selfless giving ... and through our sharing of God's redemptive grace and glory so that others might spend eternity with Him.
Whose life will I lay mine down for today?