- [there is an icon over the door of the wood building, and from its roof there rises a brilliant red Byzantine cross. two monks are stacking firewood. they stop and stare at a man in rags who enters from stage left]
- Andrei: Good fathers, have you bread to spare and a bowl of water for a begger?
- [the old monk runs forward and embraces ANDREI tenderly]
- Nikon: Welcome, Christ!
- [the young monk, DANIIL, puts his hands on his hips]
- Daniil: Father Nikon, can't you see - that parasite is no Christ? He's a wandering leech searching for a vein. Unhold him before he bleeds you dry.
- Nikon: Ah, surely he is Christ twice over now. Not only hungry but insulted.
- Daniil: We want no strangers here.
- Nikon: You are right, Daniil, this is no stranger. Enter in, brother.
- Daniil: Brother?! There is not enough bread for your real brothers.
- Nikon: Have you not heard it said that every stranger is the Savior in disguise? [turning to ANDREI] Enter in, brother.
- Andrei: I thank you, holy father. My name is Andrei Rublev. I beg your patience more than bread. I have lost my way in this forest. If you could spare me rest for one night, I will depart more swiftly than I came.
- Nikon: Stay a lifetime, if you please. This is God's house, not mine.
- ['Andrei Rublev' by Michael D. O'Brien. Appears in the wonderful novel 'Sophia House']
“It struck me recently that God wrote a large story in the lives of the people we read about in the Scripture, and it was usually for reasons beyond their understanding. He did so for several purposes, but one of them was to teach and illumine others who would not yet be born until thousands of years after the events. Is it possible that He is 'writing' our lives as well, for purposes we cannot begin to understand, and perhaps may never understand in our lifetimes? Our inexplicable sufferings, especially the blows of injustice, may be far more valuable to other souls than we can now guess. Thus the necessity of thanking Him for all our trials, adversity, unjust sufferings, because the fruit of these may be of incalculable worth, though hidden from our eyes.”—
Michael D. O’Brien, from his new masterwork, A Father’s Tale.
Easily my all-time favorite author.
Suffering, Writing, and Jesus.
- Interviewer: All yours novels contain experience of deep human suffering, but at the same time also contain messages of hope and love. Can you say something about that?
- Michael D. O’Brien: Suffering puts us to a test. The most severe suffering tests everything within us. Then we choose. We choose either to turn inward to the darkness of despair, or we look up to the great wounded hands that reach down to embrace us. Mankind very much needs the living Jesus who longs for us to come to him, to open our hearts to him. He is love itself. But love never forces itself upon another. He invites.