Illustration: Sacrifice

A mother living in a tenement house went shopping for groceries. While she was in the store, a fire engine raced by. She wondered, "Is the fire engine going to my home?" She had left her baby asleep at home. Forgetting about the groceries, she ran toward home. Her building had fire hoses aimed at it. It was burning like a matchbox. Rushing to the chief, she cried out, "My baby is up there." He shouted back to her, "It would be suicide for anyone to go up there now; it's too late."

A young fireman standing by volunteered, "Chief, I have a little baby at home, and if my house were on fire, I'd want someone to go up to save my baby. I'll go." The young fireman climbed the stairs; he got the baby, threw her into the rescue net, and just as he did, the house collapsed and he was burned to death.

The scene is 20 years later at a graveside. A 20-year-old woman is sobbing softly. Before her, at the head of this grave, is the statue of a fireman. A man stopping by asks respectfully, "Was that your father?" She replies, "No." "Was that your brother?" "No," she says. "That's the man who died for me." (Ronald J. Lavin, "I Am the Resurrection and the Life," eSermons.com)