“Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”- John 15:13
Last Friday morning I laboriously forced my groggy eyes open, stretched, contemplated getting up, and then decided in the negative. The previous night (or perhaps I should say morning?) I had gone with my family and some friends to see “The Dark Knight Rises” at the midnight premier, and thus was rather exhausterated. Within a few minutes my mother poked her head in my door to see if I was awake, I stretched/waved hello to give her the idea that I was alive, and she crept in. She does this often when her lazy teenager sleeps in, pokes in, smiling, say hello and tells me that the world is awaiting my arrival. But this morning, there was something wrong. I could tell. Her eyebrows were knit.
“Morning sweetie. There’s something I need to tell you. Last night, a shooter came into one of the midnight premiers, opened fire, killed 12 people and injured 58.” She said.
The words hit me like a ton of bricks. I sat up. I immediately thought of my friends that had gone to another theater, I panicked. Which Theater? Where? WHY?
“Which theater?” was all I could choke out.
“The one in Aurora.”
Selfishly, I was glad that none of my dear ones were hurt. But suddenly tears welled up in my eyes at the tragedy, the sadness, the unexplainable, incomprehensible evil of it. Later I found out that a girl from a speech and debate family I knew had been shot in the arm 3 times and once in the head, her recovery is miraculous (read here for the whole story… here ) Even then, it was so close to home. Someone I’d seen, my dear friends cousin. These evil things are the sorts of things that happen on movies! On the news! Not so close to home, so close to my life. It was too evil. I couldn’t grasp it. Just like many many others, I found myself grappling with a Joker like evil, that stared me right in the face and laughed.
As the week has worn on, the nastiness of it still surprises me. A few days ago, however, I saw this article ( here ) and was struck by something. The article tells about how 3 boyfriends laid down their lives to protect their girls. Something about this struck home with me.
I imagined myself into their skin. I imagined MY boyfriend dying for me, taking a bullet instead of me. For one thing, it would break me, beyond what I can even imagine. But, there’s something else… Each one of those men protected the life of their women, and in doing so, showed the value of their women’s days. If I were those girls, I would feel like every day that I lived had been bought with a high price; the price of their lives. A price I could never pay back. A price that would give every day a special value to it, because I was honoring their sacrifice with living the days they had given me well, with love, and with purpose. Being thankful, because they bought MY days with their blood.
Through the gloom of all this evil, I see in this a shining light of nobility in those men’s actions.
As I thought on the value that a life lived because of someone else’s sacrifice, It hit me. As a Christian, I believe that Christ died that I might have life. I am in the exact same place as those girls. MY days have a price on them, they are precious. To be lived with a sense of urgency, gratefulness, and excellence, because I have been bought by the blood of my beloved. It makes me think of this.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
The shooter that night came to steal kill and destroy, those men gave their lives so their women could live, and have life to the full. How beautiful is it to realize that God has given his life to us in the same way. It is noble. It is beautiful. It is sobering.
Today, as I think on this, it makes me want to live my life in a way that speaks to heaven “thank you. Thank you for what you did”. I want to live my life to the “full” with a deep sense of gratefulness.
All this has saddened me, but strengthened me to live every day in the grace of God, with the realization that today is a gift, not a right. I want to continue praying for everyone effected by this tragedy. And mostly to live the days I have left, be they many or few, with the intensity of understanding their worth.
“Teach us to count the days, teach us to make the days count, lead us in the better ways, for somehow our souls forgot. Life means so much, life means so much, life means so much.”- Chris Rice.