It goes against everything our sinful hearts want. We are selfish people. It takes a quantum of effort to be self-less (and a loving Savior working that out in us).
Only God knows the truest of sacrifices (1 John 4:10). His son was the Sacrifice. By grace and with mercy He gave it all for us. Do we even come close to giving some?
Parents know sacrifice. Daily we bow down to the needs and desires of our children. We give up. We freely give away. And they rarely see or know it. In our deepest places we tie unending knots between our hearts and theirs knowing that one day they will cut the tether and we will be left with…knots.
But even in our parenting sacrifices there is joy. Is it safe to say we can sacrifice when we know there is something greater, better? We can sacrifice for our kids because we love so deeply, because we see worth in it. Or perhaps that is always the gift of sacrifice. When we give away, we receive.
Can we sacrifice our comforts? Can we let go of the things that make us feel safe? Using our own money to buy things for others in need is something, yes. But the clothes off our own backs? Our own food? Could we give it all away? (Luke 12:33; Mark 10:21) To leave the emotional comfort and physical safety of our home, our community, to walk in another's shoes? To get dirty. To be hungry ourselves. This is harder still.
I know a woman who has sacrificed. Sacrificed what others might think of her. She speaks for those that can't, aren't sure how. She shares her story bare. She follows His calling. She has given up her own comfort to comfort others, to teach, to protect. And even though you see her, she hopes you see Him. Yes the heart of sacrifice may be in the unseen surrenders, but might sacrifice also take the shape of one who takes up the cross of another?
I have had the privilege to know and walk life with this dear woman. With God's help she has started a movement. A movement to protect children from sexual abuse. She wrote a book for parents to use as a tool to prevent childhood sexual abuse from happening. She wants to help build a bridge.
My friend is courageous for she champions something that has been taboo for too long, with a determination to disregard any embarrassment or awkwardness that often keeps people from taking action. And she sacrifices her time, her money, her comfort zone (she is not by nature a public speaker) because she knows there is worth in the message, worth in protecting the innocence of children, worth in redemption for those who survived it.
Her's an example of love and surrender for those who deserve to be protected. It may not be the Ultimate Sacrifice, but her sacrifices encourage me to leave my own comforts behind and join with her in this movement.
Might you consider joining, too?