A daily spiritual thought | Friday April 17, 2020

In his book Night, Elie Wiesel describes the following scene in one of the concentration camps during World War II, the execution of three Jews, among whom is a young child:

“One day, as we returned from work, we saw three gallows, three black ravens, erected on the Appelplatz. Roll call. The SS surrounding us, machine guns aimed at us: the usual ritual.  Three prisoners in chains – and, among them [a little boy] … The SS seemed more preoccupied, more worried, than usual.  To hang a child in front of thousands of onlookers was not a small matter.  The head of the camp read the verdict.  All eyes were on the child.  He was pale, almost calm, but he was biting his lips as he stood in the shadow of the gallows… The three condemned prisoners together stepped onto the chairs.  In unison, the nooses were placed around their necks… ‘Where is merciful God, where is He?’ someone behind me was asking. At the signal, the three chairs were tipped over. Total silence in the camp. On the horizon, the sun was setting. Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out, swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing… And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes. And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still red, his eyes not yet extinguished. Behind me, I heard the same man asking: ‘For God’s sake, where is God?’ And from within me, I heard a voice answer: ‘Where is He? This is where – hanging here from this gallows…’”

Where is God?

Where is God in all of that?

Where is God in times of the Corona virus?

Where is God when families lose a loved one to the virus, or a job, or hope?

Suddenly another question strikes me:

Where am I when families lose a loved one to the virus, or a job, or hope?

Where is God?

Where am I?

I pray that you experience God’s grace and love today!

—Friedbert Ninow