I was reading this piece about Dr. Boris Kornfeld, and was taken by surprise by the ending — but feel as though it’s something I really ought to have known. The picture above is a bit (lot) of a clue.
Dr. Boris Kornfeld was a surgeon who worked in a hospital in a prison in the former Soviet Union. He was not on the staff of the prison; he was one of the prisoners. He was sentenced to life in prison for being a Jew.
While in the gulag, Dr. Kornfeld met a Christian whose quiet faith attracted the doctor’s attention and interest. One day, while repairing a guard’s artery that had been cut in a knifing incident, Dr. Kornfeld seriously considered letting the guard slowly bleed to death. Appalled by the hatred and violence he saw in his own heart, the doctor found himself repeating the words of the Christian prisoner, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”
Dr. Kornfeld was cut to the quick and sought the mercy and grace of God. Shortly after becoming a Christian, the doctor began to refuse to go along with some of the standard practices of the prison camp. One day he even turned in an orderly who had stolen food from a dying patient. From that day on, he knew that his life was in danger.
One day, as the doctor was examining a patient who had been operated on for cancer of the intestines, Dr. Kornfeld began to describe to the patient God’s mercy to him. The patient was in and out of consciousness but understood what was being said. The patient awoke in a groggy state and heard a noise down the hall. His surgeon, Dr. Kornfeld, was being brutally murdered.
But that patient understood God’s mercy and asked Christ into his life. The patient, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, went on to become a Nobel Prize-winning author.