“God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Matthew 22:32b
Michel, a Russian friend of mine told me this story not too long ago. He and his wife Valentina were walking through a park in St. Petersburg on a crisp , sunny day in this beautiful city located in the northwest corner of Russia. They recently moved from Moscow and were learning more about this beautiful city each day. As they walked through the park, was an entrance to a cemetery. In Michel’s words, the most beautiful cemetery he had ever seen. The sun hit the tall and short ornamented headstones and statues that were glistening with gold and other colors. He and his wife had never seen such beauty in a cemetery; in fact they could not recall a collection of monuments as these before anywhere in their world-wide travels. Michel was part of the U.S.S.R. U.N. delegation for many years in New York and now worked as a private consultant for the Russian petroleum industry.
Hand-in-hand, they slowly read the inscriptions written on these beautiful monuments. He said it was if they were “walking through time at their own leisure.” As they began to head down another pathway of monuments, Valentina stopped. Her head was looking down; staring not at a monument, but at a simple grave marker. Inscribed on what appeared to be slate was written in Russian:
“I ONCE WALKED AROUND AS YOU ARE NOW”
Michel and Valentine had Jewish ancestry, but they did not become ‘generational’ believers. They had no god, statue, or animal that they worshiped. They had their careers and the Russian government for their 60 years on this earth . Being hurt or sick was more frightful to them then death was. Death happens, so enjoy the day, and so on. However this inscription froze them in their steps; the sun had lost its warmth, the day had changed.
To Be Continued……