one life became the father of many nations. another brought a nation to their knees through his cloak. one life brought millions of peoples to life-giving waters in the Far East. another brought his people through exile in an arid desert. one life brought many peoples together under the sign of a cross. another freed a people from darkness on an emerald isle with the symbol of a clover. one life wrote an entire system of belief used in schools to this day. another didn’t write a single word and became the most revered pauper throughout the world. one life built the greatest political dynasty in the Far East that the world has ever seen. another conquered and established the greatest empire of the western world. one life discovered that planets orbit the sun. another found the earth is round. one life discovered America. another reached the moon. one life delivered your baby. another teaches your child second grade reading. one life does your taxes. another picks up your garbage. one life fixes your dishwasher. another sells you stamps. one life is your best friend. another is the love of your life. one life is your mother. another is your father, your sister, your brother. one life is your first-born child. another is your child with Down’s syndrome. one life is your grandmother with Alzheimer’s. another is a quadriplegic boy confined to a wheelchair. one life is your bedridden daughter, sister, aunt, niece and cousin. another is you in a coma. one life hangs bleeding from a cross.
one life died for His people of a pierced and broken heart. another died at the hand of savages having his heart torn out. one life died for her country while burning at a stake. another died for a foreign people in a burning desert. one life died in a blaze of glory before a stadium of bloodthirsty people. another died bloodied and alone before forfeiting herself to a rapist. one life died en route to Russia and an empire ended. another died to bring freedom to the highlands of an island. one life died and his people were freed from prison camps. another died in a motorcade and a nation mourned. one life died of self-inflicted poison and a genocide ceased. another died from an assassin’s bullet for the rights of his race. one life dies with a community surrounding him. another dies alone without a trace of family. one life dies of old age. another dies of cancer. one life dies in a freak accident. another dies of a slow, agonizing disease. one life dies at the hand of a criminal, oppressor or enemy. another dies of cowardly escape or selfish willfulness. one life dies heroically. another dies in ignominy. one life dies embracing suffering. another dies running away. one life dies of starvation in Auschwitz for the sake of one man. another dies of starvation because she is a burden to one man. one life was condemned to a criminal’s death though innocent. another was sentenced to die like a wartime prisoner unable to defend herself. one life died to give Himself as food. another dies without the right to food. one life died as a scandal to the leaders of His day. another dies as a disgrace to the newly “enlightened”. one life died bloodied and brutalized at the hands of another nation. another dies a woman brutalized at the hands of men. one life died because of His provocative words. another dies because she cannot speak. one life died refusing the hyssop. another dies being refused a drink of water. one life died on a cross in seeming failure. another dies being deemed a biological failure; a useless being. She is your mother, your daughter, your sister, your lover, your cousin, your friend, your grandmother, your granddaughter. your child. what is one life?