In his book, All Rivers Run To The Sea, Eli Wiesel (1928-2016) tells of his Jewish family, living in Hungry during the dark days of the WWII.
Later, Wiesel along with his parents and younger sister became prisoners at the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. Only he survived the camps. He went on to be a professor of the humanities, the author of 57 books and receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
In All Rivers Run to The Sea, Wiesel describes how his family was waiting for the Nazis to arrive at their door and take them to a concentration camp.
Wiesel tells about a peasant woman by the name of Maria. Maria was almost like a member of their family. She was a Christian, though they were Jewish. During the early years of the war she continued to visit them, but eventually non-Jews were no longer allowed entrance to the ghettos. That did not deter Maria. She found her way through the barbed wire and she came anyway, bringing the Wiesels fruits, vegetables, and cheese.
One day she came knocking at their door. There was a cabin that she had up in the hills. She wanted to take the children, of which Eli was one, and hide them there before the SS came. They decided after much debate to stay together as a family, although they were deeply moved at this gesture. Eli Wiesel writes about Maria:
“If other Christians had acted like her, the trains rolling toward the unknown would have been less crowded. If priests and pastors had raised their voices, if the Vatican had broken its silence, the enemy’s hand would not have been so free. But most thought only of themselves. A Jewish home was barely emptied of its inhabitants before they descended on it like vultures.
“I think of Maria often, with affection and gratitude,” Wiesel writes, and with wonder. “This simple, uneducated woman stood taller than the city’s intellectuals, dignitaries and clergy. My father had many acquaintances and even friends in the Christian community. Not one of them showed the strength of character of this peasant woman. Of what value was their faith, their education and their social position, if it did not arouse their love. It was a simple and devout Christian woman who saved the town’s honor.”
The cities and towns of America are so in need of a Maria today, in fact, many Marias. Do YOU recognize any Marias in America today? If not, why not?
JESUS IS THE ANSWER TO THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE PLACED ON US AND THE PROBLEMS THAT WE FIND WITHIN US!
YOU CAN BE A MARIA TOMORROW, Thursday, September 16th. I’m working with Food for the Poor to build a new school in Roseaux, Haiti after the recent 7.2 earthquake. Just tune into our Building Dreams Event: www.foodforthepoor.org/buildingdreams.
The students have to sit in the hot sun or find shelter when it rains in order to learn. YOU can help to change this! How? Please RSVP and Register today for our Virtual Event TOMORROW, September 16th at 7:00 PM CST. And you will enjoy my interview with Andre Dawson who went from Wrigley Field in Chicago to owning and directing his Paradise Memorial Funeral Home in South Miami.