Anton Mauve, 1838-1888 Shepherd and Sheep oil on canvas, ca.1880 Cincinnati Museum of Art via Wikimedia Commons
Sometimes I lay down my life for a while when a friend is in need. I put aside my own chores, amusements, or quiet time to listen and encourage. When the time is right, I take up my life again and go on.
Sometimes I lay down my life for a while when my elderly father needs an advocate. I make phone calls, ask for information, and get some answers on his behalf. When the time is right, I take up my life again and go on.
I have the power to lay down my life for the moment and help others. I have the power to take up my life again and move on without having lost myself. It is my privilege and calling to exercise this power in a way that reflects the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
[Jesus said:] “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.” John 10:18