Monday, August 13, 2007

Would you trade your life for someone else's life?

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?

3 comments:

Lew A said...

Hey Alan,

My wife and I talked about this last night. It is an awful decision to have to make. Imagine being one of those people who did not volunteer - always remembering that in a way, you took part in someones death. A truly terrible situation to be in.

I think, under my present circumstances, I would probably be willing to give my life in exchange for someone else's life. But if I had children that story would probably change.

I think another important question is what does this say about Jesus' understanding of death, life, and love?

elder's wife said...

alan-
eric at hammer and nail http://ericcarp.blogspot.com/2007/08/through-gates-of-splendor.html
just did a post that reminded me of jim elliot's statement "he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
he began trading his life for the auca's before he ever flew to ecuador.
we make that choice every day: me or HIM?
kat

Anonymous said...

福~
「朵
語‧,最一件事,就。好,你西...............................................................................................................................-...相互
,以讓>它使...................