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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I was reading about Night today, on Wiki of course. It made me get out of my lovely, idealized world for a little while, forcing my mind to scrape the edges of true horror, humanity's depravity and the black descent of the soul. Eliezer was a fairly normal Jewish Orthodox lad, living in northern Transylvania with his family; their country was annexed in 1940 by Hungary and most of the population were sent to the gas chambers or to slave labour and concentration camps by the Germans.

Elie survived the utter brutality of the camp Auschwitch; the U.S. Third Army freed the prisoners in April 1945. But he wasn't free. Liberation can not restore five years of soul-killing horror. Although he had strongly believed in God through his Jewish Orthodoxy before the annexation, and continued to be a devout believer through part of his time in the camp, he soon could not reconcile the hideous suffering he saw with his former belief in God. He watched as babies were used as target practice by soldiers, as hundreds of prisoners were tossed into fire pits and more were starved and beaten.

Elie's story reminds me of 1984. The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a fairly ordinairy guy with a sense of right and wrong. After intense psychological and physical pain, he sells his soul by betraying Julia, the girl he loves.

The question that is bugging me is: Wouldn't I do the same? If I went through the horror that Elie suffered, or was tortured like Winston - would my love and faith for God die? Or would I be like Foxe's martyrs, and trust to death? A belief is only worth something if you're willing to die for it - and not just die for it, but suffer hideously for it. Because if it's worth more than what's in the world, then it must be worth more than anything the world can do to your body.

I don't want weak faith. Anything could happen to me. Like Elie, my life could be annexed by horror and I'd have to do one of two things, believe or despair.

Do you have a belief worth dying for?


Anonymous FR said...

This is really deep, Lydie. I've often wondered myself if I were in a situation where I had to choose God or die, how I'd respond. It's very easy to say I'd choose God and die, but unless actually faced with the situation, would my desire to live and fear of dying a painful death cause me to renounce my faith in God? I don't think I'll ever truely know and kinda hope that I don't have to find out.

8:43 pm  
Blogger Lydz said...

I don't find it easy to believe I'd choose God, even though I believe and love Him so much. Yes. You're right that we can't know until we get to that situation [if we do]. I was having a think about it yesterday though; I reckon getting to that stage of being ready to die for what we believe might take some maturity of faith, perhaps a maturity that takes a long time to grow. For some people, that is. Others have a strong and passionate love for God that continues their whole life; others grow more reliant on God as they give Him everything they have in obedience through the years.

I don't know if I'm making sense.. !

12:30 am  

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