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|(photo: Peter Sisam, ARPS, ABIPP)|
Laying down our lives for others, that is part of the nature of all living things. It is the instinct of a mother, human, animal. Nothing is too much.
Mahatma Gandhi wrote: 'The image of Christ which I saw in the Vatican is before my eyes at all times. The body was covered only by a small piece of cloth, such as is worn by poor men in our villages. And what a wonderful look of compassion He had. I saw there at once that nations, like individuals, could only be made through the agony of the Cross and in no other way.'
Here is a Hindu who loved Christ, expressing a truth which Christians easily forget, that Christ and his Cross are for everyone, not just for Christians.
The Koran says: 'Did He not find thee an orphan and protect thee? Did He not find thee wandering and direct thee? Did He not find thee destitute and enrich thee?'
God's will crosses my will, and I choose God's will. That is the Cross. But it is more than that. It is putting no limits to what God may use me to do.
Dante wrote: 'The world's existence and my own, the death he bore that I might live, have drawn me from the sea of perverse love to the shore of the love that is just.' And: 'The love that rests on faith and hope is more than affection. It contemplates the whole of life.'
The Chinese martyr, Watchman Nee wrote: 'I need forgiveness for my sins, but I also need deliverance from the power of sin. The blood of Christ deals with what we have done.... The Cross deals with what we are.... Man's way is to suppress the sin, God's way is to remove the sinner. You are powerless to do anything. God has done it all. Such a discovery brings striving and self-effort to an end. Think of the bewilderment of trying to get into a room where you already are.'
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