For those who have not heard, on Sunday, August 12, 2007, a gunman entered a church building, killed three people, wounded five others, and held several hostage until he finally surrendered to police. This is one account of what happened during the incident:
Witnesses told police that Saimon held a gun to one man's head and asked if anyone in the church was willing to trade their life for the man's, an investigator said. After no one stepped forward, the gunman shot the hostage, he said.Now, this is a witness' report to police. Is this the way it happened? We don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. But, these two sentences have caused me to stop and consider a very important question: Would I trade my life for someone else's life?
As I talked about this with my family, we all agreed that there were some people that we would give our life in order to save. Of course, it is easy to say this when we are not staring down the barrel of an automatic handgun. I think Margaret's (my wife's) response was the best - and I have to admit that I did not think of it first. She said, "I especially hope that I would be willing to give my life for someone who is not saved."
But, what about you? Would you be willing to give your life in exchange for someone else's life? Is there someone - are there some people - who you would not sacrifice yourself to save?
If we are not willing to give our lives from someone (anyone), what does this say about our understanding of death, life, and love?