Greater love

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    ‘The world has never been short of romantic love but this has done little to save people from our planet’s endless troubles.’

    ON November 10, 2010, Marine Corporal Kyle Carpenter was posted atop a building in violent Helmand Province in Afghanistan when an enemy grenade skittered towards him and fellow Marine Nick Eufrazio. Without hesitation, he displayed a selfless heroism that few could imagine, using his body to cover the grenade and sacrificing himself while saving Eufrazio. He lost his right eye and much of his jaw; his wounds were from head to foot.

    Before he passed out, Carpenter was heard by an officer asking if his good friend, Eufrazio, was okay.

    He was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration, and only the second for a Marine since Vietnam. During the awarding rites at the White House, President Barack Obama quoted John 15:13 for him, “No greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

    Carpenter spent almost three years in the hospital, and until today he does not understand how and why he survived. He may not have known then that he was actually obeying Jesus, as in John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” We know that Jesus showed His love by dying on the cross for all of us.

    The world has never been short of romantic love but this has done little to save people from our planet’s endless troubles. Countless marriages bound by a “true and endless love” have fallen apart.

    Louis Zamperini loved his wife deeply until he came home from the war. He could not overcome his PTSD and became an abusive alcoholic, haunted by vicious POW days at Japanese camps in the Pacific. His wife eventually filed for divorce after Zamperini, in a fit of nightmare, strangled her.

    After she attended a Billy Graham crusade in their city, her frustrations and bitterness vanished. They eventually reconciled after Zamperini attended a second prayer meeting and after his wife decided not to divorce him.

    Zamperini was convinced that only the love and mercies of God had set him free from the turmoil and bitterness inside him. And he had also come to forgive and love his enemies, including his jailer called “The Bird” who would beat him up often. The love of Christ also moved him to travel to Tokyo and visit his Japanese captors who were in jail for war crimes. Most became Christian believers like him.

    Dawn Urquico’s faith could not be overwhelmed by the infidelities and criminal lifestyle of her husband, Danny. Her love for Danny persisted even as he slid into perdition and despair, while she prayed for him so fervently and earnestly with her small group of Christian believers and pastors. The turning point came as the power of the Holy Spirit seized Danny away from almost a tragic rampage in his house. More than the love of his wife, it was an exceptional and marvelous love that has come from another world that gave him a new life. He is today Pastor Danny Urquico of the Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) who leads several CCF churches in Pasig, Antipolo, and Quezon City.