In 1849 Dostoevsky was arrested for being a part of a secret utopian society. After 8 months imprisonment and a mock execution, he was sentenced to 4 years of exile and hard labor in Siberia, where he suffered terribly. At this time he wrote to his brother in a letter:
“Brother, I’m not depressed and haven’t lost spirit. Life everywhere is life, life is in ourselves and not in the external. There will be people near me, and to be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter – this is what life is, herein lies its task. I have to recognize this…. That head which created, lived by the highest life of art, which acknowledged and had come to know the highest demands of the spirit, that head has been cut from my shoulders…. But my heart is left me, and the same flesh and blood which likewise can love and suffer and desire and remember.”
Sooner or later in life, that thing which we thought would never happen – could never happen – happens. We think, “how can life go on after that?” And yet, life does go on. We emerge on the other side, and find ourselves still intact. Life everywhere is life. Our head gets chopped off, so to speak, but our heart remains. We are turned inside out, but survive. No matter what you are going through, your life is not over until you are dead. No matter how bad it is, there is still hope – before God – for redemption, for change, for light, for breakthrough. Put your hope in God while you wait in the darkness.
Dostoevsky wrote his best books after he got out.
Gavin, this is hugely encouraging to me right now. Thanks so much. JWR