Because of Who He Is

Story of the Day for Monday May 22, 2011

Because of Who He Is

                    No one would hardly give their life for a righteous man, although, for a good man someone might possibly dare to die for them.   But God demonstrates his love for us by this: while we were still sinners, Christ gave his life for us. 

                                                                                Romans 5:7-8

When I was a student at a teacher’s college, I worked as the editor of a small newspaper.  My office was deep in the bowels of the administration building and the basement doors were heavy – as if built to repel an army of invading Cossacks.

Terry (as I’ll call him) had just passed through when he noticed me going toward the door with my arms filled with a load of books and papers.  He outraced me to the door so he could open it for me.

Terry was like that: he responded with remarkable quickness to the needs of others.  I didn’t know it until later, but Terry would volunteer his time each week and go into the inter-city of Chicago to be a Big Brother to kids who had no dad.

One stormy evening I waited on the third floor of the admin building.  We had a student meeting and I was waiting for Terry because I wanted to talk with him.

No Terry.

Later that evening, the Dean of Students walked into the room.  He was visibly shaken and he spoke slowly.  The storm that afternoon, he told us, was so fierce that  twenty foot waves from Lake Michigan hammered the shore, and were even spraying water on the freeway, Lake Shore Drive.

Terry was in the city with his “kids,” who were fascinated by the storm, so Terry decided to walk down to the lake to get a closer look.

Near the shore, they watched a man walk out on a pier.  But a fierce wave rolled in and swept him into the lake.  Warning the boys to stay put he raced onto the pier and took off his coat and held it out – hoping the man could grasp it.

He never got the chance. Another wave crashed over the pier and washed Terry into the waters, while the two boys watched their Big Brother sink beneath the waves and disappear.

As the Dean told us about Terry, we cried, but no one was surprised.  We all knew it was just like Terry to do something like that.

I am White.  Terry was Black. The stranger he tried to save was Hispanic.  Terry never took the time to assess a person’s worth before offering his assistance.  He cared for people because of who he was – not because of who they were.

When God demonstrated his love for us; when Jesus gave his life up for us, he did not first calculate the caliber of our goodness. He died for us – not because of who we are, but because of who he is.

                                                   (copyright by and by Marty Kaarre)