Wednesday, April 23, 2008
No Greater Love..
Jack Kelley, foreign affairs editor for USA Today and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, tells this story:
We were in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in East Africa, during a famine. It was so bad we walked into one village and everybody was dead. There is a stench of death that gets into your hair, gets onto your skin, gets onto your clothes, and you can't wash it off.
We saw this little boy. You could tell he had worms and was malnourished; his stomach was protruding. When a child is extremely malnourished, their hair turns a reddish color, and their skin becomes crinkled as though they're 100 years-old.
Our photographer had a grapefruit, which he gave to the boy. The boy was so weak he didn't have the strength to hold the grapefruit, so we cut it in half and gave it to him. He picked it up, looked at us as if to say thanks, and began to walk back towards his village.
We walked behind him in a way that he couldn't see us. When he entered the village, there on the ground was a little boy who I thought was dead. His eyes were completely glazed over. It turned out that this was his younger brother. The older brother kneeled down next to his younger brother, bit off a piece of the grapefruit, and chewed it. Then he opened up his younger brother's mouth, put the grapefruit in, and worked his brother's jaw up and down. We learned that the older brother had been doing that for the younger brother for two weeks.
A couple days later the older brother died of malnutrition, and the younger brother lived. I remember driving home that night thinking, I wonder if this is what Jesus meant when he said, "There is no greater love than to lay down our life for somebody else."