Outside the Walls: The Responsibility of Freedom

Her fingers slowly tied the yellow ribbon around the wire fence. It was a ritual she had done every morning, month after month, as she walked in the early morning around the farm. The field was glistening with morning dew in stark contrast to the desert where her son was currently stationed. The ribbon represented yet another day that she pleaded with the Lord to spare her son’s life and the men he led.

Only a few years before, her son was running around that same field with friends, laughing and reclining on the porch, and enjoying the freedoms of life in America without a care in the world. Now, the lives of some of the most elite soldiers in the world were under his watch, and the freedom of a country was on the line. Their very lives were on the line, for you.

There are two individuals who died for you: Jesus and an American soldier. Both died for your freedom. Both had a mother sobbing at their tomb. Both had men and women mock their sacrifice and take it for granted. Live in such a way that gives honor to their sacrifice.

The hard truth is that we are unworthy of such sacrifice. We are an ungrateful and self-absorbed people. We love to speak out on temporal issues and stay silent about eternal ones. In our great prosperity, we have neglected those who are in desperate need. We will travel across the world, but not across town. We have stepped over them in the streets and looked the other way as we drive by their neighborhoods. The church has turned over that welfare to our government and then complained about its management.

The church is quick to shout, “Wake up, America!” Maybe the church is asleep. Jesus followers are dying for their faith all around the world as they lay their lives on the line and speak up about Jesus. The advancement of the gospel is exploding in countries where there is the most persecution against its proclamation. However, in a country where it can be freely proclaimed, there is silence. This is the great irony.

Do you want to know how to comfort a mother and father of a fallen soldier? Live a life worthy of the sacrifice of their son. A life that capitalizes on the freedom their son fought to preserve rather than exploit it. A life that cries out to the Lord for the souls of mankind with the same kind of passion and fervor as a mother pleading for her son. Give honor to those who have fought for your freedom to speak by opening your mouth to share the story of Jesus.

Be a soldier. Lives are on the line. Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27, NIV).