John 15: 13
This month marks the three-year anniversary of the moment in which then-six-year-old Bridger Walker of Wyoming saved his three-year-old sister from a German Shepherd attack. Said Bridger at the time, "If someone had to die, I thought it should be me."
From time to time, I wonder what I would do if presented with a similar situation. Not necessarily a German Shepherd attack, but one can imagine all kinds of scenarios where bravery and self-sacrifice might be required. I hope that I would step in front of the danger like young Bridger did.
This is what Jesus did when He laid down His life for us. He foreshadowed His sacrifice in John 15: 13:
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Perhaps the sacrifice we need to make today is not so dramatic as laying down our lives. It's almost easier to think of an emergency situation than the small daily sacrifices that enrich the lives of others. Today, I carved out 30 minutes to help a friend. A tiny sacrifice, to be sure, but those are the practical faith sacrifices we need to make in our relationships and with strangers where we see need.
I should mention something else that struck me in reviewing Bridger's bravery. He was left with scars from the attack, though most have gradually gone away. The last picture I saw of him, from late 2022, still showed facial scars from the German Shepherd. At one point, Bridger had indicated that he didn't want all the scars to depart; he wanted them as a reminder, not of his heroism, but that his sister survived and is well.
If we truly sacrifice for another, we may be left with scars for some time. What kind of scars will depend on the sacrifice. Maybe you already bear scars of a sort from your past sacrifices. If so, I hope they serve as a reminder, not of your sacrifice itself, but that your sister or brother is well.
Just a reminder that my latest Top 11 Themes of Jesus podcast is now posted! I'm counting down the topics Jesus talked about the most in the Gospels, from #11 to #1. The latest episode is #9, Jesus Will Judge Humans, with my special guest, author Jennifer Chamberlain. You can find it by starting at CecilTaylorMinistries.com/free-content, or by searching for "Cecil Taylor Monthly Podcasts" on Apple, Spotify, and Podbean.