Sunday, February 24, 2013

God sees the truth but waits

Yesterday I read a short story by Leo Tolstoy named "God sees the truth but waits" .I am sure many have either read it or have seen adaptation of it on either small or big screen. For those who haven't  ,this is the gist. It is about a man Ivan ,a merchant , who  travels to another town on a business errand.On the way he meets a merchant  ( a rich one with lots of money on him) .They both stay in a lodge in the same room. Ivan leaves by early morning to finish of his reminded of his journey.   He reaches the town and finds that police are waiting for him . They inform him that  the merchant with he shared a room has been murdered brutally with a knife and they suspect him of the murder. They search his bag and find a blood stained knife.They arrest him despite Ivan's denials.He is wrongly implicated and gets a life sentence for his deed. Even his wife wont believe that he did not commit the murder. Ivan is heartbroken and resigns to fate . He leads a amicable life in the prison. He sort of becomes a messiah for everyone.Then one day  a new prisoner comes. Soon Ivan learns that this was the man who killed the merchant and placed the knife in Ivan's bag. Ivan is angry.He feels a feeling of vengeance rising in him . One day  Ivan finds the man digging a hole  to escape from the prison . The man asks Ivan to not let the word out and in turn promises Ivan that he will let him escape as well. The man is caught and police ask Ivan if he had seen the man digging the hole. Now it is turn of Ivan to get his revenge .To implicate the man to quench his anger. But he doesn't. He tells the police that he cannot say anything. The police let the man go. The man  is remorseful now. He begs Ivan for forgiveness  and weeps. Ivan  forgives him   and then he feels very light. The burden of vengeance,anger,misery vanishes from him. He is no longer suffering.  His heart gets cleansed. The man goes to the police and tells the truth about killing the merchant  and the police are ready to release Ivan .But on the day of the release Ivan dies.

It is very difficult to not get moved by such a story. Ivan's pain,helplessness,misery ,loneliness pushes across to the reader. We feel his sadness.But the story is not about hopelessness but it is about keeping the hope alive in our hearts. God watches everything. And when Ivan's moment of truth came  Ivan's heart is not the same anymore. He is a wise man . A man who realizes the smallness of everything before forgiveness. The moment Ivan's heart forgives the man  ,he becomes free. God has released him from the burden. Resigning to the fate helps Ivan. But I differ in this. Ivan's release came too late. He deserved much better life   but God waited. The story makes you feel for Ivan. But I couldn't say the same about God. Why did he wait? When he saw the truth ,why did he wait? What was his purpose? I wish God could answer this to me.

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