I recently was able to read “The Diary of Anne Frank” for the first time. It’s hard to describe what I felt when I finished that book. I felt a lot of things but most of all…I felt horrified.
I was reading a story about a girl, a girl exactly my age, who was forced into hiding for two years until her family was found out and sent to concentration camps and eventually died. It was quite depressing, especially with the thought it was a true story. This story especially grabbed my heart because in my trip to Poland this summer I was able to visit the remains of a concentration camp.
When I went to the camp, a bunch of things went through my mind as I walked through that camp but it haunted me to think I was walking the same grounds as tons of innocent people who died there. It seemed so healed at the time, with the grass growing and the place cleared up but I think it was impossible to laugh or even smile there. You could think happy thoughts. It was impossible. It was not like your everyday historic spot, but a place where they still had the piles of shoes of the people killed and they still had those gas chambers there, where you knew thousands died. Like my reaction to reading Anne Frank, I was horrified.
As you stood by the death gate and looked at the gas chambers, I’d never felt so close to death.
When we were kids, we used to pretend to play death like it was some game. I remember playing with my friends and taking turns “dying” and having funerals. But the older I get I’ve realized it is not a game. It’s never just a game.
Death is a terrible thing. It’s the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone ever. We all deserve death and eternal punishment. From the day we were born, we’ve sinned. We’ve fallen. We’ve ran.
Yet, death is defeated. There is no more death for those in Christ. For one day, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Death is not the best part of our lives if we are Christians. Sure, we will die in this world, yet as Christians, there is no eternal death. The old order of things HAS passed away. In the very end, there will be no more death. For “The last enemy to be destroyed is death(1 Corinthians 15:26 ESV).”
Still as I read books such as Anne Frank and go to places like Stutthof Camp It makes hate this earthly death, yet it gives me joy to think in Christ it is no more.