… the shared commitment to safeguard one another’s lives is unnegotiable and only deepens in time.  The willingness to die for another person is a form of love that even religions fail to inspire, and the experience of it changes a person profoundly.  (Emphasis added.)

Sebastian Junger, in War

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Junger is talking about war, combat and life.

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

So says Jesus in the Gospel of John, Chapter 15, verse 13.

This is a cardinal truth, a capital “T” truth.

How is it that the President of France can forcefully and appropriately respond to an act of war on his country in the Paris attacks and our President (and public officials) cannot even accurately name attacks on us, and on our land?

How can one man see an act of war while another denies it?

Note what Sebastian Junger correctly says: “the willingness to die for another is a form of love.” Same as what Jesus says.

What does this tell us?

The man who does not love cannot defend another.  Further, the man who cannot lay down his life for another does not know Christ.

Interestingly, the French President (Francois Hollande) was raised a Catholic. The Truth, you see, does not evaporate that easily, no matter one’s faith trajectory.  We are made in and for Truth.

Frankly, a commitment to fight for another and to die for another is rooted in love of others more than self.

The aloof and egocentric – those whose lives are committed to nothing in particular and surely nothing larger than themselves – will not fight nor die for anyone, let alone others or a value that exceeds self.

These people sooner claim to live for an idea.  They live in the abstract, in fabrications.  They are ideologues – living in the head, not reality as it is in its timeless form.

Ideologues do not live for others.  They live for an image of themselves and the world, not as it is – but rather as they fashion it is and for their egotistical belief that the world and others must conform to them.

Ideologues, after all, live at no greater depth than the ego.

They are surface people whose exterior “cool” is but a buffer, a veneer of no human depth.  They are without spirit.

For them sacrifice is utterly alien, inapplicable – to be avoided, lest they be discomforted, required to grow, denominated to reality – to the harsh reality that life is messy and demanding, and also a glorious experience rendering joy and love, purpose and meaning that exceeds one’s self.

One who does not understand Junger hides.  Those that hide cannot lead.

Life is combat.  It is that simple.

To survive and prosper, ignore the words of those who hide.  Dismiss them. They deceive.  With them you die before your time.

Shalom.

You might want to share this with others.  We are at a crossroads, a gut-check.

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