I saw the postman arrive as I left home and I drove off without another thought. When I returned few hours later, mulch and sand tarnished our once clean driveway. I shook my head. The postman must have messed it up! He usually drives by our letter box, pops the mail in, then drives out again, the back wheel of his motorbike scattering dirt, leaving a muddy mess behind. I went to our mail box to collect what he had left for us, but to my surprise it was empty. That’s strange! I looked again. Nope. Nothing there—nothing at all!
The next morning, when I opened our front door, two pigeons strutted around purposefully in our yard. They dug the ground with their beaks, throwing mulch hither and thither. Ah! That explained it! I should have known better than to jump to premature conclusions! And truth be told, it wouldn’t be the first time I’d blamed an innocent party. For instance, there was a day I couldn’t find my pair of nail scissors. I was in a hurry to leave home for an appointment. I checked the drawer where I kept it but it wasn’t there. I shoved aside an umbrella, our sewing kit and a few other odds and ends but no, there was no sign of what I was looking for. Shan must have used it, I thought. I went to his bedside cupboard and checked his drawers one by one. Not there either. Grrr.
It was then I remembered. The day before, I’d taken my brush, perfume, scissors and lipstick to my son’s bathroom. I was going to church early that day. My hard-working husband caught up on his sleep during the weekends and I knew I’d disturb him if I used the mirror of our ensuite. Now, I ran to my son’s bathroom, opened the draw under the mirror and voila! The little nail scissors sat patiently, waiting to be found. I hung my head in shame.
I’m sure there must be plenty of occasions over the years when I’ve blamed my husband or son for a misdemeanour when in reality the blame lay squarely on my shoulders. Thankfully, I have not received my just deserts. My sins and foibles have usually been met with forgiveness and grace - from God and from others. Even when I least deserved it. Especially when I least deserved it.
A few months ago, I did the unthinkable—I reversed into a pole at the shopping centre. In an horrifying instant, my car’s back windscreen was shattered; the parking lot strewn with hundreds of glass shards. I could not believe what I had done! I phoned my husband with trembling fingers, and he came at once; bless him. After some deliberation, we went home to get our broom, dustpan and brush and returned to the scene where my beloved helped me clear up the mess. I felt terrible—not just at the unexpected accident, but also that it had occurred during Shan’s long-deserved Easter break. It meant that instead of relaxing the next day as he’d hoped to do, he now had to fill insurance forms, make phone calls and take our car to the garage. I had spoilt his holiday! My beloved man was truly amazing—he assured me that it was OK and he comforted me.
I was so grateful that Shan lavished my undeserving heart with grace. His kindness in not making a big deal in what actually WAS a big deal blessed me immensely. Grace often walks in where it is needed, shedding light into our darkness. God Himself lavished us with grace through the death and resurrection of His only Son. If that wasn’t grace in all its fullness what is? God’s grace is the key that unlocks our fettered lives so we can walk out of our self-made prisons in freedom, gratitude and joy.
So … what does God expect of me as I deal with the sins, failures and mistakes of others? I can make a big deal out of my neighbour’s actions when he sins against me. Or … I can, as one sinner to another, shower him with grace. After all, God pours His grace over me every day. And grace begets grace. Every time.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has
a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds
them all together in perfect unity.
To whom can I extend a garland of grace today?
It was one of those days. One moment the sun dazzled the world with its radiant smile, the next … storm clouds gathered thick and fast and rain came pattering down. I knew I’d have only an hour at the shops so thought I'd buy the wedding gift I wanted but leave the rest of my (grocery) shopping for later. An hour’s browsing and deliberating found me the perfect gift—a collection of smaller gifts really and the knowledge warmed my heart. Afterwards, as I pushed my trolley towards the car park, a few spots of drizzle wet my nose. Oh good! It was only a light shower, so no need to pull out my umbrella!
As if to challenge my attitude of gratitude, the rain drops began to increase. A few minutes on, the drizzle turned into a deluge. I rushed to my car pushing my trolley. Soaking and shivering, I opened the boot with a slippery hand and unloaded my treasures, then hurried to find a spot for my trolley and dashed back to my car, getting sopping wet all the while. Raindrops splattered my steering wheel and water dripped down the car seat making a pool at my feet.
I frowned. “Why did you time that shower so badly Papa?”
‘You didn’t ask’
I didn’t ask?
Did I need to ask?
After all, He is my Father—He takes care of me. It hadn't occured to me to pray. In fact, I’d not pulled my umbrella out because it was only a drizzle when I walked out. Would prayer have made a difference? By the time I reached home, the sun was shining, lighting up the cold wintry world with squishes of joy. It seemed that God was laughing at me. What was He up to?
I had 15 brief minutes before I had to leave home again, but those precious moments had to be squandered in changing my wet clothes. Grrr! I stripped my attire, putting on a set of dry clothes then hung my squelching pants, top and jacket in front of the heater to dry. As for my hair—it had been full of bounce that morning but now … even after I blow-dried it, it looked flat and lifeless, clinging to my head dismally like a collection of dead leaves!
Soon, we sped off for my son’s his physio appointment. Asela said he’d walk back—and that was good—I had a lot to accomplish that day so the extra time was valuable. I drove to the shopping centre ... and this time I was wise. Well before I finished getting my groceries, I talked to my Heavenly Father telling Him exactly what I needed.
“Papa, please could you make the rain stop till I get to my car?
It’s too hard to push a trolley and hold an umbrella at the same time!”
I think I heard a heavenly chuckle.
When I reached the car park I was thrilled see there was no sign of rain. Hooray! I hastened to my car, remembering to ask God to permit my son to enjoy a walk in dry weather rather than in a wintry squall. It did stay dry till I reached my car. Thank you so much Papa. The sunshine warmed me as I reached home rejoicing. My son returned a little later– and yes, he too had enjoyed a walk in a dry world! It was a miracle that I didn’t get wet a second time and another miracle that my son’s half-hour walk had also been in sunshine—because most of the that day dripped like a leaky faucet in need of mending.
How good it was to have my prayer answered. What a blessing that my son wasn’t drenched! Even better, how wonderful that I learnt the importance of talking to my heavenly Father about all my needs even ones I might sometimes take for granted.
There are times God bless us without us asking.
But then … He always wants us, His children to talk to Him about our needs.
After all, that’s what relationship is all about isn’t it?
Did you remember to ask God today for what you need?
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us.
And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—
we know that we have what we asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15
When we moved into our new home last year, we needed to get some work done! Two workmen came over to do the needful and my husband stayed home from work. Towards lunchtime, everything seemed to ticking along nicely, so my beloved packed his lunch and other essentials and left for work. And that’s when it all started to go pear-shaped. I went to the kitchen to make myself a hot drink and found that the power was off. Had the workmen (in the course of their exertions) damaged our electrical circuit?
The two men walked around the house checking every power outlet. It seemed to take forever. With a frown and a sigh, I drummed my fingers on the kitchen table. The men eventually got back to me—and hooray! They had fixed it. I made my cuppa plus two coffees for our workers, then trotted off to my den to tackle my writing. But when I flicked the light switch on, nothing happened. Sigh. This was becoming all too familiar. Worse—my computer wouldn’t turn on. Was my entire day to be spent discovering that nothing worked anymore? And unfortunately, this time, the two men could not fix it. Like a toddler who was deprived of a toy that had been snatched from her grasp, I felt cheated out of my day’s plans being fulfilled. No, I didn’t throw a tantrum, but I was close to it.
When my hubby returned that evening, he began to turn on all the appliances in our home to check if any of them were causing the problem. The instant our vaporiser was turned on … click—the trip switch went off. He checked again. It went off a second time. So THAT was it! I had been positive that the two technicians were at fault, but apparently their presence was a co-incidence! Wow! My face became hot and my cheeks turned red at the realisation of how wrong I had been in my assumptions.
There was once a tough season in my life when a friend turned against me. No matter what I did to placate her—she misunderstood me, so life with her turned into a battle-ground. One day, as I prayed about it, God reminded me who my real enemy was. The blinkers came off my eyes!
“There is a thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy,” said Jesus.
He is the Real Enemy.
Life as we knew it in Sri Lanka changed forever on April 21st. We weep with those who have lost loved ones. We feel deeply for those who have lost hearing, vision, limbs and more, for those who will struggle all their lives as a consequence of this brutal attack. We are angry at our politicians who allowed it to happen. We cannot begin to understand what drove those suicide bombers, but we know it’s not the entire Muslim community at fault. In fact, it's safe to say that it’s a terrifying time for all peace-loving Muslims as much as for the rest of us. As we search for someone to blame and as we process our own ragged emotions, we need to seek the truth. Yes, the government was to blame for failing to protect its people and they have to be accountable. Yes, the terrorists who perpetrated these terrible crimes are responsible for their evil acts.
We also must not forget our Real Enemy!
Our Real Enemy is rampant in our world today. The Real enemy has many names. Lucifer, Adversary, Devil—these are but some of them. The Real Enemy needs to be fought with the weapons of Prayer and God’s Word. We have powerful tools at our disposal. We have the authority of Jesus on our side.
Are you facing a tough battle today? Don’t forget … it is not your argumentative spouse, an angry friend, the neighbour who makes life so hard for you or someone who hurt you, who's the Real Enemy. Your real Adversary is Satan, the prince of darkness. He is an unseen foe battling us in the spiritual realms. But take courage—we are not alone. God fights with us and for us. He has promised never to leave us. He has given us all the armour we need for the battle. In fact, Jesus has already won the war so we have a hope that will never disappoint. Cling to that hope today dear friend. Cling to our powerful God. Our real enemy is a Defeated foe.
And He that is within you is greater than he that is in the world.
Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone
to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the
family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
1 Peter 5:8-9
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have
suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm
and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:10-11
It happened on a day of celebration. Without warning. It happened to them, it happened to us. It happened to all of us—in the human family. Easter Sunday. 8.45 a.m. in Sri Lanka. A deadly massacre in cold blood of 253 men, women and children—Sri Lankans worshipping that day, who should have gone home rejoicing; visitors to our country who should be still enjoying Sri Lanka’s warm hospitality. 500 injured in a number of co-ordinated bomb blasts. So just as 9/11 brought dark shadows and a changed future for the whole world, 21/04/19 brought death, destruction, fear, unspeakable horror and grief to the beautiful island I call home. It changed our land forever.
I grew up in Sri Lanka in the sixties and seventies. We were blessed to enjoy a happy childhood. It was a paradise island where time stood still, godly values were upheld and where freedom reigned. We were not rich by modern standards, but had everything we needed to thrive and grow. Love and laughter, family and friends, fun and fresh air, oceans and beaches, peace, joy, security. These were priceless gifts I will never take for granted. Later, in my twenties—dark clouds hovered over our beautiful island as ethnic conflict tore its peace. Twenty Six years of it. Too long. Far too long. Brutal. But finally … it ended. Peace was a beautiful covering over our beautiful country.
But now? In the blink of an eye, Terror came to visit, carrying the scissors of devastation. It tore open the wounds that had slowly begun to heal. Bombs. Blood. Horror. Death. Destruction. How could this be? Who? What? Why? Where? Senseless. With no rhyme or reason. Perhaps because we were an easy target. But now … fear and terror has marched in where peace had once reigned.
What do we do when we are plunged into deep darkness? When God seems far away? When the light that shone yesterday has been snuffed out in a moment? We might presume with sadness that God could not exist because Evil has been elected as our new Dictator. We might turn our backs on a God who hasn’t stepped in to help us. We could mock faith as unsubstantiated and untrue.
But there is a better way. A much better way. We can throw ourselves on God’s mercy and love as we pause to remember that time after time after time, He has been faithful. We can discover Him afresh through our pain. We can find the comfort and strength that only He can give.
Who can understand why human beings perpetrate such atrocities? Men and women born with the greatest capacity to love perform instead unspeakable acts of evil against one another. We cannot begin to understand the suffering of a mother who had her child torn from her arms in an instant, the pain of a father whose entire family is killed before his eyes. I can’t imagine what it must feel to have part of my body ripped apart by shrapnel. I wouldn’t begin to understand the suffering of those who sang in church that morning with Easter joy in their hearts only to leave with terror and grief as their constant companions.
I weep for Sri Lanka. I stand with my brothers and sisters of all ethnic and religious groups in our island as they suffer. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But I do know that as sure as the sun rises each morning, that the same God who conquered sin and death is with us in our hour of grief. Jesus came to the world to suffer unimaginable pain. He understands our suffering. He was rejected by the very people he came to save. He was given a criminal’s death on a cross—a long slow death. The sins of the whole world were piled on Him. What a weight he carried on that cross!
The Militants who decided to mock at life have failed miserably. It may have been a day of destruction, but Easter’s Resurrection Bell clangs loudly with the message of victory. LIFE overcame death at Easter. If I had eyes to see, I could have watched a spectacular sight that day. Amidst the weeping of those who had lost loved ones there were jubilant reunions in heaven of those who went home to their God. Bodies may have been ripped apart by shrapnel but those same people were heaven’s newest arrivals delighting in God’s presence. What a thrilling entrance to heaven as they worshipped! What a warm welcome they would have received in our Father’s arms!
Jesus knew deep grief. He is a loving God who suffered on our behalf. “He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” Isaiah 53:3 He surely knows what suffering looks like and feels like. And He alone has the power to change it for good.
So what is my response today? Let me weep with those who weep. Let me look to God for strength and courage during these dark and troubled times. Let me pray for those who are suffering. Let me extend my hand to help my brothers and sisters of all ethnic groups and religions in any way I can. Let me not blame a whole community for what a small minority has done. Let me look to a loving Father to bring justice for His children. But let me also hold fast to the message of Easter. Let me choose the weapons of LOVE instead of the vicious weapons of hate.
God promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us and we can lean into His comfort. One day all the evils of the present age will be put right by a God who understands our pain more than we could ever realise. His love transcends every tragedy. He weeps with us as we weep. We who know Him grieve differently to those who have no hope.
So perhaps grief has another name and its name is HOPE!
One day when the curtain swings wide open over life’s final act, we will at last comprehend the truth about everything. For now, we will look ahead with eyes of faith, trusting our faithful God. We will continue to live and love, to share God's comfort, truth and light in a dark dark world, so badly in need of a Saviour.
"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our
time of need." Hebrews 4:16
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor 13:13
The two fabulous weeks I’d spent in Sri Lanka this year were filled with activity, so on my final day of holiday, I decided to enjoy a quiet morning. My sis and family had left for work. I tucked into the delicious breakfast Sal left for me—pancakes with a spicy prawn curry. Yum! Afterwards, I spent time with God and His Word and my spirit was refreshed. I had a list of last minute things to do—a visit to the bank, some shopping, a few errands to run. But when I tried the front door, I found it was locked and the key was not in sight. Oh no!
A quick hunt for the missing key didn’t reveal it so I panicked. Would I be trapped in all day? Breathe, Anusha breathe. I asked God to help me, then looked around my sister’s lounge for the missing key. What a relief that I did find it. Yay! It was probably where my sis had told me it would be in the first place. Alas, my 61 year old brain sometimes acts its age! I smacked my lips at my re-gained freedom. Delicious—just like the prawns and pancakes I’d enjoyed that morning.
Sometimes, life hedges me in and I can’t find my way out. I panic. If only I stop to ask God, He’d remind me that He’s given me a set of keys to help me—Faith, Hope, Love, Peace, God’s Word, Prayer, Trust. These are but a few of them. Trust is perhaps the best key of all because it proves my dependence on my Heavenly Father. He’s a God of power, wisdom and strength. A God who seeks to bless; a God of compassion, slow to anger, with a heart full of love.
There was a time when I was locked inside prison walls. Anxiety gripped my heart. Often. I had lost the key to the door that led to peace. I cried out to the Lord. But His timing was different to mine; His answers were not what I expected. Was I trapped in there forever? After months of waiting on Him … His answers arrived. I believe God was building my character as I waited. And then … He gently placed a key into my trembling hands, the key that opened the door to peace and wholeness. Thank you God. Thank you so very much.
Are you locked in today, in a prison that hems you in? Do you feel that there is no way out? Take courage my friend. He calls your name. Can you hear Him? He can set you free. And He will. Over two thousand years ago, God provided a way for us. Jesus Christ suffered a criminal’s death, He suffered on our behalf—for your sins and for mine. A tragedy? Yes … or so it seemed. But out of that God-permitted tragedy came the biggest victory of all. Jesus conquered sin and death forever. And our part? To be willing to receive. To be willing to let go of all that is dear to us. To be willing to reach out and accept His free gift of eternal life.
The keys are yours if you ask. And at no cost.
A brand new LIFE through Jesus. No more shame.
No more condemnation. No more guilt. No more sadness.
Life abundant. Life everlasting. Joy. Peace. Wholeness.
Are you ready to accept His gift today?
Or … if you are already a believer, perhaps there is a different kind of key that you’d like to ask of Him today.
Come. There is room at the cross for you too.
Simply … come!
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life;
whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
1 John 5:11
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“And my God will meet all your needs according
to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:13
Last year, after 32 years of marriage, My husband and I were both blessed with a study each in our new home—and oh—how I’ve enjoyed mine. This little nook is my happy place, one where I can connect with God, with myself and even with the wider world (yes, you too) via my computer. A tall, dark handsome man pops in sometimes for a chat—so I have a seat reserved for him. Nice. Very nice. However … I’m also ready to close the doors to my den when needed, especially when the TV is on in our family room. Closing those doors means I can pray, write and enjoy quiet moments of solitude.
A few days back, my morning plans had been unexpectedly cancelled so I decided to make the most of it. Here was a golden opportunity to persevere with my writing, something I seem to lack sufficient time for most days. It was past noon when I sat at my computer. Oh well, I would have the whole afternoon … or so I thought. But no sooner had I begun typing than my computer screen light went out. That was strange. My screen turned black. Even stranger! I didn’t worry—I flicked the switch on the side of the screen with confidence. But oh no … my computer screen had died on me and that seemed to be that! Thankfully my lap top (attached to that dead screen) was still awake.
The screen of my laptop is small and its letters were minuscule. I felt disoriented as I tried to work on it, using a keyboard I was not familiar with, my fingers pressing the wrong keys all the time. I managed to change my word document to font size 200% which enabled me to keep going. But it was a waste of a day because writing in such conditions was a big struggle. I was relieved and glad when my beloved turned up after work and offered me one of his computer screens. Wow! That was so generous of him!
I had no inkling of the joy awaited me—absolutely no idea. When he had fixed it, I discovered that my new screen filled all available space on my desk and was larger than life. Font size 12 on Word looked HUGE—just what I needed, because my eyesight has been dwindling of late. And yes! The screen light was on again. Hooray! Pictures on my new screen were far lovelier to gaze upon because of their size and grandeur. I danced around my room, knowing I would not bemoan the loss of my old screen or my unproductive day. The truth was that if the light in my old screen had not been snuffed out, I would not have had this amazing beautiful large screen to work on.
Sometimes, the lights in our lives go out. And we struggle through the darkness—wondering where God is and what’s going on. It seems like the hard season will never reach its end. But we CAN hold on with confidence. The Word of God says, that as sure as night follows day, His light will shine again. When our Beloved walks into our dark spaces, His brilliant light will illuminate our gloom. And we will see. We will be made whole. Our losses will pale in comparison to the glory to be revealed.
Often, we have to just keep going with that “little screen” of our lives in faith till God comes to present us with His vast screen of wisdom and understanding, truth and beauty. And as His light shines bright in the darkness we will see. Really see.
Has your light been extinguished? Is it hard to see the way ahead? Hang in there dear friend. Call out to our Saviour and wait on Him. He knows. He cares. He is fighting on your behalf. His light is beckoning you from ahead. Whatever happens, we know with sure certainty that His light will flood your soul again.
Sometimes the light goes off. And we cannot see. But with eyes of faith we have a glimpse of the glory ahead. And that glory is worth waiting for.
“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen
any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor 4:17
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.” John 1:12
The year 2019 apparently boasted the hottest January in Australia since records began. We sweltered through it but … just as I was leaving for Sri Lanka, a cool change walked in the door. Oh? What timing! When I returned to Adelaide in mid-February, the cool change left abruptly and Mr Heatwave whizzed in to dance with me. Surprisingly, I didn’t mind as much as I’d usually do. After Colombo’s humidity, the unusually high temperatures of Adelaide didn’t seem so bad after all. I was planning to hibernate at home for a few weeks anyway.
It was time for me to seek God, to determine what He required of me for the rest of the year, Monday is washing day. That week, the spot in the yard I’d usually stand hanging clothes was too hot to be in, with the strong, warm rays of the sun streaming down on me. Hmmm. What to do? A quick glance around yard showed me how to proceed. There was shade all the way down one side of our home.
So I moved our clothes airer to that section, carried my basket of wet clothes near it and began to hang the laundry. Perfect. I could move it later to a sunny spot—and the heat would dry them in no time. It wasn’t the hottest time of the day—yet! That meant that a 40 degree day in the shade was still comfortable—I even enjoyed the process as I chatted with my Papa. I looked up. A giant tree’s branches created a cool ceiling over my head.
It was my neighbour’s tree—what a beauty—reaching far and wide, a thousand emerald leaves shimmering in the sun. I stood there content feeling refreshingly cool. Over seven decades ago, on the 18th of March 1946, my parents stood facing each other and said “I do”— a God breathed union it was! As I stood under my neighbour’s tree that day, I was safe and happy, protected by the tree’s shelter and enjoying its beauty on a 40 degree day.
My parents love was like that—a love that surrounded us as we grew up and kept us secure. Theirs was a love which sustained us as we grew older and we flew from their nest. Even though they are not here physically now, their love will remain with us for the rest of our lives. Today I pay tribute to my beloved Amma and Thatha—a couple who walked hand in hand together to make a difference in our world. Seventy three years since they became one, their love still overflows in our lives, a spring that will never run dry.
And like the branches of my neighbour’s tree that reached beyond its borders, my parents spread their love well beyond their family and to the world beyond. When I was little I wondered how it was that Mama signed her letters with "All my love". How do you give away all your love to one person? Well, now I know. Love is a paradox isn't it? The more you give away, the more you have to share.
Isn’t that wonderful?
Isn’t that something to live by?
My parents’ love was of course just a faint reflection of the abundance of God’s all-consuming passionate love. His love is far stronger, far deeper, far richer than the love of anyone here on earth. It was His love Mama and Papa gifted us with and dressed us with—sparkling attire for every season. The reason their love still blesses us today is because of its source—the love of God, which is an all time, all purpose, unconditional love, a love which knows no bounds, a unique effervescent love, a shelter for every storm.
Would I respond to that love? Would I multiply the love of God that they showered me with? Would I spread it around my world? What would that look like? How far could it go? In my own efforts at loving others I have discovered that human love is frail and often fails, but praise God, God’s precious, perfect, powerful love never does. And we have a source to tap into that will never run dry.
His love brought the world into being.
His love breathed life into us.
His love endured death to bring us life.
His love will remain for all eternity.
Let me dance in the fountain of His love and splash it far and wide.
Would you like to join me?
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love.” John 15:9
"This is my commandment, That you love one another,
as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends."