We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Deathless Love at Bull Run

John Eldredge has in his files a copy of a letter written by Major Sullivan Ballou, a Union officer in the 2nd Rhode Island. He wrote to his wife on the eve of the Battle of Bull Run, a battle he sensed would be his last.

He speaks tenderly to her of his undying love, of “the memories of blissful moments I have spent with you.” Ballou mourns the thought that he must give up “the hope of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood around us.”

Yet in spite of his love the battle calls and he cannot turn from it. “I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter . . . how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution . . . Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break” and yet a greater cause “comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistably on with all these chains to the battle field.”

What resolve! Major Ballou calls to mind the words of Robert Lewis in his book Raising a Modern Day Knight. A biblical man is one who has “A will to obey, a work to do, and a woman to love.” If I could add one, it would read, A will to obey, a work to do, a woman to love, and a battle to fight. We are called to be warriors, protectors, lovers, and initiators. If a man possesses true love, it will evidence itself in sacrifice, for “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Published in: on December 9, 2010 at 4:24 am  Leave a Comment  

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