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Allow me to tell you a story about a young man named Bill, who joined the Navy, when World War II began. One night his ship came into Boston, and he decided to visit his former pastor and friend, Rev. Stidger. During their visit together, Rev. Stidger said, "Bill, tell me the most exciting experience you have had so far."

Bill hesitated. It wasn't that he had trouble selecting the most exciting experience. Rather, the experience he had in mind was so wonderful and sacred that he had trouble putting it into words.

Bill was the captain of a large transport that, along with a convoy, was making its way across the Atlantic. One day an enemy submarine arose in the sea a short distance away. Bill saw a torpedo coming directly toward his transport, which was loaded with hundreds of young men. He had no time to change course. Through the loud speaker he shouted, "Boys, this is it."

Nearby was a small escorting destroyer. The captain of the destroyer also saw the submarine and torpedo. Without a moments hesitation he gave the order, "Full speed ahead!"

The tiny destroyer eased into the path of the torpedo, taking the full impact of the deadly missile amidships. The destroyer blew apart and sunk quickly; every man of the crew was lost.

For a long time Bill remained silent. Then he glanced up at his beloved pastor and said, "Rev. Stidger, the skipper of that destroyer was my best friend."

Again Bill was quiet for awhile, and then he said slowly, "You know there is a verse in the Bible that has special meaning for me now. It is, 'Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends.'"

(From a sermon by John Lowe, The Face of Fortune: Barabbas, 6/15/2012)

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