Monday, July 31, 2006
Leo Tolstoy was a world-famous literary giant who wrote "War and Peace." He was a self-confessed believer of Christ's Gospel. While reading about him, I can't help but notice his fervent religious musings and strides toward perfection. Yet he was deeply unhappy. His wife Sonya, who had 16 pregnancies by him, exposed the gap between his spiritual writings and the contradictions of his own life. Tolstoy, according to Sonya, never showed affection toward her and their children. Sonya wrote in her diary, "There is so little genuine warmth about him; his kindness does not come from his heart, but merely from his principles ... no one will ever know that he never gave his wife a rest and never -- in all these thirty-two years -- gave his child a drink of water or spent five minutes by his bedside to give me a chance to rest a little from all my labors... Where is his love? His Christianity?" One word: hypocrite. But a hypocrite is someone who pretends to be something he is not. In the case of Tolstoy, he admitted and knew very well that he's a hypocrite! He could not silence his conscience. I felt sad knowing this bit of the life of Tolstoy. Yet I felt somewhat grateful to him for showing me the extent of God's grace upon all of us.