Were you there?She shook her head. No. I was here in Nain having achild.Then why do you weep as though you had part in hiscrucifixion? You had no part in it.I’d like nothing better than to think I would haveremained faithful. But if those closest to him—hisdisciples, his own brothers—turned away, who am I tothink I’m better than they and would have donedifferently? No, Marcus. We all wanted what wewanted and when the Lord fulfilled his purpose ratherthan ours, we struck out against him. Like you. In anger.Like you. In disappointment. Yet, it is God’s will thatprevails.He looked away. I don’t understand any of this.I know you don’t. I see it in your face, Marcus. Youdon’t want to see. You’ve hardened your heart againsthim. She started to walk again.As should all who value their lives, he said, thinking ofHadassah’s death.It is God who has driven you here.He gave a derisive laugh. I came here of my ownaccord and for my own purposes.Did you? Marcus’ face became stony.Deborah pressed on. We were all created incompleteand will find no rest until we satisfy the deepest hungerand thirst within us. You’ve tried to satisfy it in your ownway. I see that in your eyes, too, as I’ve seen it in somany others. And yet, though you deny it with your lastbreath, your soul yearns for God, Marcus LucianusValerian.Her words angered him. Gods aside, Rome showsthe world that life is what man makes of it.If that’s so, what are you making of yours?I own a fleet of ships, as well as emporiums andhouses. I have wealth. Yet, even as he told her, heknew it all meant nothing. His father had come to thatrealization just before he died. Vanity. It was all vanity.Meaningless. Empty.Old Deborah paused on the pathway. Rome points theway to wealth and pleasure, power and knowledge. ButRome remains hungry. Just as you are hungry now.Search all you will for retribution or meaning to your life,but until you find God, you live in vain.
Francine Rivers