…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…
~ Ephesians 5:25
A professor from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago once did a research paper on what drives people to give their lives in service to others. His research led him to many people and many places. Perhaps the most extraordinary place, however, was in London, England, where a woman had devoted her life to serving the poor. He asked her why. The answer he received is something he never forgot.
This is her story. She was a woman of Jewish descent. She’d grown up in Germany, but had moved to France in the 1930’s to escape Hitler. Then the Nazis invaded. Soon she found herself fleeing from one location to the next in order to avoid capture. She was constantly on the run. In time she became exhausted and felt as though she could go no farther. That is when an old, French widow knocked on her door. The elderly woman warned her that the Nazis were doing another search and that she needed to escape. “But it’s no use,” she told the old woman. “They will find me anyway. They are so close behind.”
But the elderly widow, a Christian, then said this. “Yes, they will find someone here, but it’s time for you to leave. Go. I will take your identification and wait here.” Immediately the young Jewish woman understood the ramifications of the old woman’s plan. The Nazis would come and find this Christian widow and think she was the fleeing Jew. “Why would you do such a thing for me?” she asked. To her question the widow responded, “It’s the least I can do; Christ has already done that and more for me.”
The Nazis did come and took the Christian widow in the Jewish woman’s place. She perished within six months at a concentration camp. But her capture gave the Jewish woman time to escape. She found her way to England and through the power of the gospel came to faith in Christ.
And that is why she went on to devote her life to serving others. In light of all that her Savior from sin had done for her, it was the least she could do.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when I stop to consider what you have done to wash away my sin and to give me life, move me to live my life for others. It is the least I can do. Amen.