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From Ashes to Beauty Excerpts

      Strangely, I felt no pain. It was so quiet. No nurses or doctors were tending my horribly burned body. I felt clean sheets below and a light blanket covering me. My present position was comfortable —but I was terrified to move.
      I couldn’t explain my healthy body without any evidence of the damage I had sustained. I slowly stood up, excited to be whole again, feeling vibrant — eager to live. Then again, I didn’t dare trust my feelings — this had to be a dream.

      “I carry pain from my former life that spoils my happiness daily. I feel helpless to remedy the matter, Sarah. The passing of time only makes my heart sick and bitter.”
Sarah asked knowingly, “Is it about a love that failed to blossom?”
      “Yes, how did you know? Has Christ told you about me?”
      “No, but those of us who have experienced broken hearts and bitterness are very sensitive to this aching condition in others.”

      “How could God ask anyone to do such a dreadful thing? I know I couldn’t have done such a thing —to offer my own flesh and blood in sacrifice.”
      “God was testing Abraham to see if he loved Him with all his heart, soul, strength and being. Abraham was asked to play the role that God himself was to play three thousand years later.”

      “How can you say you’ve paid for your sins? Can your one miserable life atone for millions of lives you willfully destroyed? Stop fooling yourself, Eichmann…”

      “The fire soon burned low; and, when I awakened, I felt strangely alone. These men had all left during the night in the canoe, leaving me alone in the jungle. At first I was terrified. I waited quietly till daybreak. I had entered a baited trap. They were determined to lose me in the jungle.

      Mr. Papadopolis repeated, “Please tell Lev how I died.”
      “You played politics, too, didn’t you, Mr. Papadopolis?”
      “Of course, I did,” he answered. “Please tell Lev how I died.”
      Poor Eustus sunk in his seat. He became pale and his eyes turned glassy. “Our church members poked out your eyes and skinned you alive.”
      Suddenly the room fell silent. Eustus had no place to go, no place to hide…

      “I wish I could undo the past. I cannot explain how I was so numb to the pain and suffering of my victims. Nothing I can do will ever take away the memory…”

      “I was beginning to think recovery for me was impossible. This is the first gleam of hope strengthening my resolve to become a caring, loving and sacrificing human being.”

“My sister got over her sickness. Her eyes grew better, but mine grew worse. And after it was too late, it was determined that the eye salve was not good for my eyes. I had more and more trouble seeing, and finally blindness set in.
“…When I awakened to life again and opened my eyes and could see, I almost danced for joy.

      The music started, but Henry became very tense and Lev could see him shaking. He recognized his old tormenter. Love and hate were such powerful emotions. It took a great character to live above the controlling influences of these two emotions. It was hard to be like our Lord who “loved righteousness and hated iniquity.”

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