"Plastic flowers mark a section of the MASS GRAVES at Sandarmokh, Russia, where thousands of Solovki prisoners were killed and buried. A forest was planted on top of them in hopes that no one would ever find the graves."
"...it became the prototype for the brutal labor camp system to come."
How will I die? Would I give my life for a just cause? What if I commit to the wrong cause? I don't want to die just for no good reason at all.
And yet, millions have died... uncounted, unnoticed, in ways that seem perfectly senseless.
During Stalin's reign of terror, a disillusioned Arthur Koestler wrote the novel, "DARKNESS AT NOON", to preserve the memory of friends who had perished in the insanity.
By the end of the sham Moscow trials, his main character, an old, idealistic Bolshevik, awaits his final walk down the dank cellar stairs:
Six and a half steps to the door, whence they must come to fetch him, six and a half steps to the window, behind which night was falling. Soon it would be over. But when he asked himself, For what actually are you dying? he found no answer.
Crumpled on the cellar floor, bullet in the back of his head, come the last two paragraphs of the book:
A shapeless figure bent over him, he smelt the fresh leather of the revolver belt; but what insignia did the figure wear on the sleeves and shoulder-straps of its uniform - and in whose name did it raise the dark pistol barrel?
How many have died without knowing in whose name the dark pistol barrel was raised against their heads? What were their final thoughts? How many loved ones never received a definitive word regarding their fate?
Some have had the luxury of choosing a course for their lives that led to the death that they ended up facing. Many believers have made the ultimate sacrifice as part of Jesus' avant-garde. Often, they have not been allowed to see in life the victory that they had a hand in securing.
But what is truly tragic: many have merely been swept away by the tide of whatever ideology or maniacal agenda that has alleged the right of some to determine the fate of others.
More worrisome on a personal level: I do not find a clause in my contract with Jesus that makes me an elite policy holder, exempt from whatever can happen to the "masses" (sometimes I hate that word). I have no way of knowing when or how I will die. It could actually end up being in a most trivial and apparently pointless manner.
Before I succumb to an anxiety attack here, I need to remember: regardless of the form it takes, the death of a believer in Jesus Christ amounts to more than a "shrug of eternity."
Come to think of it, the only senseless death is when someone goes into eternity without Christ in his heart... whether peaceful and properly recorded on this side or not.
"And of Zion it shall be said, "This one and that one were born in her"; for the Most High himself will establish her. The LORD records as he registers the peoples, "This one was born there." Selah." (Psalms 87:5-6)
However senseless the circumstances surrounding my death, I am going to heaven when I die. I was born there. God has promised to take me home. He attends to each newly arrived saint in glory with the fulness, love and perfection that only He is capable of.
For those of us who have embraced -by faith alone- the Gospel of Jesus Christ: we are remembered... we shall be rewarded.
The LORD recorded it!
Yes...! As of July 5, 2020, my book is now available on Amazon.com.
It's a new book about an old problem: the cross and the crown… the Gospel and politics… do they mix? Should they mix?
If my words generate some reflection and healthy conversation—as in more light and less heat—I will be satisfied.
For feedback or questions, feel free to use the email link below.
Greg grew up in Menomonee Falls, WI. His ministry began in 1976: 5 years in Central America, 37 in Mexico. Church planting and discipleship have been his passion.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." -Matthew 13:44
GREG'S other BLOG
Concise devotions in Spanish and English, along with some lengthier essays… Designed for personal spiritual growth and to help anyone studying English or Spanish as a second language to improve their skills… Rev 14:6