Savva and the Life of Man eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 146 pages of information about Savva and the Life of Man.

Yes, that’s the word.  That’s it.  Savva, dear, I am not afraid of bodily suffering either.  Burn me on a slow fire.  Cut me to pieces.  I won’t cry.  I’ll laugh.  I know I will.  But there is another thing I am afraid of.  I am afraid of people’s suffering, of the misery from which they cannot escape.  When in the stillness of the night, broken only by the striking of the hours, I think of how much suffering there is all around us—­aimless, needless suffering; suffering one doesn’t even know of—­when I think of that, I am chilled with terror.  I go down on my knees and pray.  I pray to God, saying to Him:  “Oh, Lord, if there has to be a victim, take me, but give the people joy, give them peace, give them forgetfulness.  Oh, Lord, all powerful as Thou art—­”

SAVVA

Yes.

LIPA

I have read about a man who was eaten by an eagle, and his flesh grew again overnight.  If my body could turn into bread and joy for the people, I would consent to live in eternal torture in order to feed the unfortunate.  There’ll soon be a holiday here in the monastery—­

SAVVA

I know.

LIPA

There is an ikon of the Saviour there with the touching inscription:  “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden—­

SAVVA

And I will give you rest.”  I know.

LIPA

It is regarded as a wonder-working ikon.  Go there on the feast-day.  It’s like a torrent pouring into the monastery, an ocean rolling toward its walls; and this whole ocean is made up entirely of human tears, of human sorrow and misery.  Such monstrosities, such cripples.  After witnessing one of those scenes, I walk about as in a dream.  There are faces with such a depth of misery in them that one can never forget them as long as one lives.  Why, Savva, I was a gay young thing before I saw all that.  There is one man who comes here every year—­they have nicknamed him King Herod—­

SAVVA

He is here already.  I’ve seen him.

LIPA

Have you?

SAVVA

Yes, he has got a tragic face.

LIPA

Long ago, when still a young man, he killed his son by accident, and from that day he keeps coming here.  He has an awful face.  And all of them are waiting for a miracle.

SAVVA

Yes.  There is something worse than inescapable human suffering, however.

LIPA

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Project Gutenberg
Savva and the Life of Man from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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