On April 16th, 2014, the South Korean ferry MV Sewol departed out of Incheon headed for the resort island of Jeju. A majority of the passengers were excited Danwon High School students looking forward to an island field trip. For reasons still unknown, the Sewol suddenly capsized. Many of the passengers were entombed inside the ship as they were told by crewmembers not to attempt to escape but await further instructions. For most, those instructions came too late.
Jung Cha Woong, a sixteen year old student on board the capsizing ferry, gave his life jacket to a petrified classmate. Jung insisted he would be just fine and felt he was a capable swimmer. He was last seen helping other passengers escape. Woong’s classmate survived. Woong did not. He would have turned 17 the day after the sinking.
I personally feel that true love doesn’t have to apply only to dating and marriage but also to those in our circle of acquaintances. Woong could have easily hung onto his life jacket but instead was looking out for the another.
Are we willing to sacrifice for others, even complete strangers? Are we willing to put other’s interests first even when it hurts us on the inside or outside?
Earlier this week, I was talking with a good friend of mine from church. He said, “The mark of a true knight is when you are willing to put that individual’s interests above your own and respect them, even if their choices tear you apart.”
I personally feel that a test in life that God wants each of us to pass through, is the test of sacrificing for those we care for and for those we’ve never met. It is truly selfless to ignore our own needs and to put others first, even if our lives are directly impacted. This South Korean student was a perfect example of that. He was directly putting his life in jeopardy for his classmate. Be ready to sacrifice for those you care for even if it’s not being recorded on a cell phone or you have a large audience. Oftentimes, the greatest acts of love are not seen but are done privately and are frequently unrecognized. The greatest acts of love, I feel, are the ones done without complaint and with a smile, even if inside the individual is scared beyond belief of the future. Start today to be such a silent hero.