Life is beautiful only when there is love. Love is a higher value than life… a greater value than life. Life can be sacrificed to love, but love cannot be sacrificed to life.
Leslie Weatherhead tells the story of the second world war.
Two soldiers were very friendly, great friends. One evening one soldier comes back to the trench but finds that his friend has not returned. Many people have been killed on the front. He becomes afraid — is his friend killed?
He enquires, and then somebody says, ‘We are not certain that he is killed, but he was so terribly wounded that it was impossible for him to come to the trench. By now he must be dead.
It is getting dark now and the enemy is still firing madly but the soldier wants to go and search for his friend.
The officer says, ‘No, this is foolish’, but he doesn’t listen to the officer — he goes. It is very difficult in the dark and there are thousands of corpses all around.
He looks and looks and in the middle of the night he returns — dragging his friend’s dead body on his back. He himself is now terribly wounded, mortally wounded… he cannot survive.
The moment he reaches the trench he falls on the floor with the body of his dead friend.
The officer comes and he says, ‘I told you not to be foolish! It was not worth it. Now you know what you have done to yourself. The friend is dead and you are dying!’
The dying man opened his eyes and he said, ‘But it was worth it — because when I went there, he looked at me and he said, “Jim, I knew you would come.”‘
For love, life can be sacrificed — it is worth it. But we have been taught just the contrary: sacrifice everything just to be alive; just to survive, sacrifice everything.
to be loving, sacrifice everything.