Why war? why suffering and cold and sacrifices when life might be easy—why? why? Why a God in the Heavens… too far off? Why symbols and superstitions and prejudices that had no clear meaning, no real use? Why hatred between nations? Why death and abominations of all sorts? Why? Why?
The wind raged around him. Vasile occasionally raised a hand, stif-fened by cold, to wipe the driven snow from his eyes.
Why winter after summer? Why distance and longing, and things that never can be again? Why? Why?
Vasile did not understand.
He raised himself to a sitting posture; why was the night so dark? What did it all mean?
Ah! but over there, there was a faint light? Was dawn coming? Was the deadly vigil soon coming to an end?
Vasile watched intendy the light he seemed to see right over there in the distance—was it dawn? Could it be dawn at last? But it did not spread, yet it seemed moving—it was moving! It was coming nearer. … It was coming his way!
When afterwards… in full daylight Vasile tried to relate what he had seen—the others—those who had been sleeping, would never quite believe his tale—yet they had been sleeping, those others, and Vasile, he had been awake!—but even thus is man—like Thomas of old: he wants to touch so as to be able to believe.
What Vasile saw was a white figure coming steadily towards him over the snow, a white figure all wrapped in light—and the figure itself was the light, and so luminous was that figure that Vasile never understood why it did not awake the others from their sleep.
A long trail of brightness remained in the wake of the moving figure —a path of glory marked by Holy Feet. … For it was the Son of Man who was coming over the snow towards Vasile—it was the Son of God!
Out of the night He came—a figure so glorious that. Vasile sank to his knees, tearing his cap from his head, folding his numbed hands.
Forgotten all suffering, all conflict! forgotten the many doubts, the many questions that had made heavy his soul.
Now he was but a watcher in the dark, a lost child to whom God had come! An ineffable ecstasy filled his being—for the Man of Light was coming towards him, Vasile—Vasile, the soldier who had stolen a cross from the dead!