I have always loved the verse found in John 15:13: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
It just took me many years to understand that we "lay down our lives" in many ways for the people we love. In the past few days, we have watched President Obama recite the verse as he took part in the transferral of remains ceremony for Ambassador Stevens and the three other men who were killed in the Libya raid. This month my grandson, Landon, was deployed to Afghanistan. All of these embassy workers and service people put their lives on the line each day. And so do policemen, law enforcement personnel, teachers, on and on the list goes.
But in the past few years, I have had a first-hand view of others who lay down their life to take care of their ailing family members and put their life on hold while they are doing so. They seek no recognition and they seldom get it. Those around them go on with their lives oblivious of the sacrifices others are making. It is not, perhaps, intentional; it is just not obvious to anyone. But I think that this particular verse in Scripture applies to them also. And I salute them all for their service.
"Laying down one's life" may be a simple gesture or showing up for a visitation at a funeral home to express one's sympathy. It may be writing a note of encouragement or taking the time to pat someone's shoulder who is having a bad morning at the office. It is stopping time to say or do something genuinely heartfelt. It is remembering friends....through the years who have been there for you....once again!
Greater love has no one than this!