And together we melt like the snow
|—||Many a Mile to Freedom|
After the crucifixion the beleaguered disciples despaired and said, “We had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21, RSV). There was anguish, despair, and tragedy in their midst. Life had lost its meaning and purpose. But when the resurrection became apparent, life took on a new meaning. It had purpose and reason.
David Livingstone once addressed a group of students at Glasgow University. When he rose to speak, he bore on his body the marks of his African struggles. Several illnesses on nearly 30 occasions had left him gaunt and haggard. His left arm, crushed by a lion, hung limp by his side. After describing his trials and tribulations he said, “Would you like to have me tell you what supported me through all the years of exile among people whose language I could not understand, and whose attitude toward me was always uncertain and often hostile? It was this, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ On these words I staked everything, and they never failed.”
A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death.
"But I don’t ask for justice," the mother explained. "I plead for mercy."
"But your son does not deserve mercy," Napoleon replied.
"Sir," the woman cried, "it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for."
"Well, then," the emperor said, "I will have mercy." And he spared the woman’s son.