Saving me for more than earning
There is something about a story told well. I can skip the narration, though it adds context. I can breeze through the detailed description, though it adds intensity. For me, the story comes alive in the dialogue between characters you have come to know and love as you have met them, journeyed with them, and rooted for them.
I’m reminded of this by Gregory S. Clapper in this excerpt from his book Living Your Heart’s Desire.
Saving Private Ryan, a group of soldiers is sent out to bring home a soldier whose brothers have all been killed. The government has decided that having one family lose three sons in World War II was enough and that the surviving son – the Private Ryan of the title – should be brought home before he, too, is killed.
In going on this mission, the soldiers are risking their own lives in order to save a fellow soldier’s life. In fact, the mission does claim many lives among the squad sent to save Ryan, including, finally, Captain John Miller, played by Tom Hanks. As he lies mortally wounded, Captain Miller knows that now, finally, Ryan is safe. With his strength fading and his life ebbing away, the captain pulls Ryan down to his face to give him one last command. He looks Ryan in the eyes and says: “Earn this.” …
Wow. No small task. To consider the deadly havoc and know you are what they died for. Would I be haunted by this? Or would I spend my life living up to their commitment?
Since I look at life through the lens of Christ, I cannot help seeing this scene just this way:
Holding the shuddering body of the dying Christ in my arms, I drip tears of pain and sadness on his heaving chest. “I’m sorry.”
Jesus, smiling up at me, utters “I forgive you. Go and live.”
Haunted or committed?
We humans are weak and prone to guilt and shame, but gratitude is powerful. Can I, day by day, remember that Christ didn’t ask me to “earn” the life and salvation He offered? Rather, He tasked me to live my life as a worthy expression of gratitude for what He did for me.
This blog and the work I do in the world through Fit2Finish – with kids, families, my own included – are expressions of my gratitude. Today, I celebrate 13 months of posts to this blog. Thank you for reading.
Wendy Rilling LeBolt