“I was much grieved, and shed as many tears over your son as I did over my own, and I did everything that was fitting, as so did my whole family.... But still there is nothing one can do in the face of such trouble. So I leave you to comfort yourselves. Good-bye.”
If these people had known about our Easter they would not have felt so hopeless and sad. For since Christ has risen from the dead, we know that all who love Him and try to be like Him shall also rise from the dead, and be with Him in a life beyond the grave.
He said to His disciples before He was crucified: “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” When we know this, then to die is not so terrible as it was to the Persians and Greeks. It is like going to sleep in our home, and waking up in a place much more beautiful than we had ever dreamed of, and being with Christ, the Friend of little children, forever. But we must know Christ in this life if we are to enjoy His friendship in the next.
If you ever go to London, one of the many buildings which will be pointed out to you will be Saint Paul’s Cathedral, which is capped by a wonderful dome. And if you ask the guide, he will show you in that dome a strange room known as the “Whispering Gallery.” In this gallery your lowest whisper can be heard on the other side of the room, a great distance away. It would be hard to tell secrets in a room like that.
But there is a still more wonderful whispering gallery than that. It is the one which each one of us carries about in his own soul. In that gallery even things we think, whether we say them or not, are heard by God, our Creator. No thought escapes Him. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” If we “take the wings of the morning, and fly to the uttermost parts of the earth,” even there God is still.
This would be a very terrible thing to realize if all our thoughts were evil thoughts, unkind and unlovely. For then we should be like the man who, when he was young, ill-treated his old father and mother. When he grew up, this young man became very wealthy, and he used to carry candy in his pocket as he walked in the parks to give to the children, because he wanted their love. But the children would take his candy, then scamper away like frightened squirrels, because something inside seemed to tell them that the man was not really kind at heart. Older people felt the same way about him, and a chill came over them when they were with him. So they avoided him. It would be unbearable to think that only our evil thoughts were open to God in that way.
But while God knows all the wickedness in our hearts, and we cannot hide anything from Him, God also knows the good thoughts that are whispered in the gallery of our soul. And when we wish ever so greatly that we could do something to help somebody, but cannot do it; or when we would like to be good, but are tripped up by some temptation, God knows then how hard we try, and gives us credit for our effort, even though we fail to do what we wanted to.