January 6, 2008

The Archangel Gabriel

This story starts when Archangel Gabriel hears the voice of God in paradise blessing someone. Gabriel thinks that this is surely a beloved person of God. Assuming that this has to be a great person, Gabriel searches for him in the heavens and on earth. Unable to find the person, Gabriel decides to asks God.
God points out a person and Gabriel is shocked. Tolstoy builds suspense by showing an unlikely person from the Judeo-Christian perspective. However, God, in his infinite wisdom, explains to Gabriel his reasons. The story ends by concluding that God sees the hearts of people. Tolstoy's story touches the topic of religious tolerance.

The Repentant Sinner

This is the story of a sinner who cries to God for forgiveness at the last hour of his life. His soul is at the gates of heaven and he asks to be let in. However, there is a list of all his sins but no good deed. He is in a situation where he is about to be sent away from heaven.
The story progresses as the sinner tries to convince Apostle Peter, King David and John, Christ's beloved disciple. The story talks of human weakness, repentance, God's mercy and God's love. The sinner talks about passages from the bible when humans were weak but God's mercy prevailed.