Years ago I heard a story of a Polish Franciscan friar.  He was imprisoned in the concentration camps of Auschwitz after giving shelter to refugees, many of them Jews, during World War II.  In his days at the camp, three men went missing.  In response to this, the Gestapo  decided that ten men would be put to death as an example to others in the camp of what happens when someone tries to escape.  As they called forward the men whose lives were to be sacrificed, one of the men cried out, speaking of his wife, his children.  Hearing this, the Polish Friar, Maximilian Kolbe, offered to take the man’s place, and amazingly enough the German soldiers allowed the exchange to take place.

As Maximilian stepped forward, and the man he replaced, Franciszek Gajowniczek, slipped back into the crowd, I wonder what effect this sacrifice had on Gajowniczek’s life.  Did he live the rest of his life differently because of this incredible act of kindness?

“Live like someone died for you.” – Lecrae

Lecrae’s words summarize it so well.  Are we living life, really living?  Like Gajowniczek,we have someone who paid a  high price for our lives ,not only so we could survive or make it through this life, but so we could fully live.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus in John 10:10

I did read a little about Gajowniczek’s life.  Once a year he traveled back to Auschwitz to pay tribute to the man who saved his life.  A yearly trip to remember and to honor.

Am I living life differently in remembrance of the man who saved me?  Most days I do not, I live forgetting.  What would it look like instead to live fully, to live remembering, and to pay tribute not only once a year but every day to Jesus, who sacrificed everything for me?

My hope is I would:

fear less

risk more

criticize less

encourage more

take less offense

forgive more

and above all deeply love.

“Live like someone died for you.” – Lecrae

I Saw God today, in living

What does that look like for you, today?







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