“God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8
Davey has often told me that soldiers don’t fight for a country or for a cause; they fight for each other, and they die for each other. And I know that he served his tours in Iraq for me and for our children, not for some unreachable, noble theory like freedom or democracy or justice. And if he’d died, he would have died for us, and for his fellow soldiers, not for his nation.
For myself, I wondered in my early days of motherhood if my love for my child was strong enough to overcome my instincts for self preservation. Did I really love her enough to die for her? In a way, it was a sort of good fortune for me that, when we were visiting Davey’s parents, their house burned down. We were inside when the electrical fire started, and I knew then that I surely would have died trying to save Brenna. When I tell my children that I would die for them, they know it’s true.
It’s both reassuring and terrible to know that someone loves you enough to give up his or her own life for you. It’s reassuring in that a love that strong can stand any kind of disappointment or betrayal or even abandonment. It’s a love that can’t be broken, that won’t compromise, that never yields. It’s a love that forgives all things and then remembers them no more. But being the object of such love is a terrible thing, too, in that your life can no longer be yours alone. You owe a certain debt to the one who loves you.
God knows none of us deserves that kind of devotion, and yet there it is, like a man’s love for his bride, and a mother’s love for her child, unreasonable, fierce and protective, always seeking the good of the one who is loved. I read once (C.S. Lewis, maybe?) that Christ suffered not for the salvation of humanity in general, but for each one of us in particular. It was – is – personal for Him who knew us from the beginning of time. And that love would have compelled Jesus to the same action even if I was only person ever saved by it. To be loved like that, that has to change a person, doesn’t it?
I do it anyway – I can’t hardly help it – but I sure do hate to disappoint Him.