3-Week Series: Double Blessing

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It reminds me of the true story of a 37 year-old man in the Soviet Union who astonished friends and neighbors one day. He had been thought dead for eighteen years, when one day he emerged from under a pile of goat poop shrieking, “I want to work! I want to live!”

His neighbors were astonished by this because they all believed him to have been killed in World War II 18 years earlier. The story, as it turns out, is that on the night he was marching off the war, he deserted, and sneaked home to the hiding place that his parents made for him under the manure pile at the back of the family goat shed. His mother had told him, “Don’t mind the goats and the poop – at least you’ll survive.”

So there he stayed for eighteen years, afraid of coming into the light lest his neighbors and the government find out he had been a deserter. This man had three choices – and he made the worst one. Choice 1: Serve honorably in the army and do your duty. Choice 2: Give in to fear and desert, then go home and face the music. Choice 3: Give in to fear and desert, then give in to fear again and hide in a pile of poop for eighteen years so you can avoid facing the music.

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