Under The Same Sky

One summer in a different country seemed to have changed the way our daughter saw the stars at night.

One summer in a different country seemed to have changed the way our daughter saw the stars at night. During her freshman year at college, she and seven other students from Lee University were invited to Russia to help set up the first Christian education department at Poltava University in the Ukraine. When she came home, she tried to give...During her freshman year at college, she and seven other students from Lee University were invited to Russia to help set up the first Christian education department at Poltava University in the Ukraine.

When she came home, she tried to give us a visual picture of how different the lives of the people were in Russia.

"The food was very different," she said. The main staple was hard bread and a fatty sausage. Large families survived in homes with only one bedroom, (two bedrooms were considered a luxury) and desert was a rare treat.

The amazing thing, she told us, was the Russians were honored to bring out their most expensive and appetizing food for the American visitors.

In the six weeks she was there she walked everywhere she went. When she came home she had holes in the bottom of her tennis shoes.

One of her most humbling moments was a church service conducted in a church that was near ruins because of war bombings that occurred when the communist took over.

A small older woman took a piece of bread to the priest to pray over for her daughter, who was very ill. She believed that her daughter would eat the blessed bread and recover.

After the priest had prayed, the woman turned to Christy and the other American students and asked them to eat a piece of bread. When they ask why, she said that the blessing would be even greater if an American ate a piece of bread because Americans are blessed people.

At the end of the service a 70-year-old man who had risked his life 40 years earlier by taking a golden chalice from the church when the communist took over and destroyed the church and the people’s freedom to worship was so taken with the American visitors that he bowed to them.

He had bravely hid the chalice in his home until 18 months earlier when the breakup of the Soviet Union allowed Ukraine to become an independent country. There, sitting in this church of near ruins was the beautiful golden chalice.

The experience deepened our daughter’s gratitude for the freedom and the opportunities we have in the United States greatly. We could see a difference in her when she came home.

One evening when we were taking a walk and watching the stars pop out one by one, she looked up at the night sky and said, “Mom, do you realize that the people in Russia gaze at these very same stars?”

I had never thought of that, but yes, they do, I said. “We think people are so different just because we come from different cultures, different homes, and different parts of the world,” she said. But we are all blanketed by the same sky."

It is true, "We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon," said Konrad Adenauer, the first Christian chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Adenauer was born in 1876 and lived through both the First and Second World Wars. He wanted to lead Germany into a future of peace. This quote was his description of the inequality because of certain political and economic circumstances that push the horizon further away.

Everyone on this planet lives under the same sky, with the same sun to light up our days and the same moon to shine light in the darkness of night. But figuratively Adenauer was saying the citizens of East and West Germany, like the citizens of the world today, don't share the same horizon.

I sometimes take our country and freedom for granted. Hearing the song, God Bless America, always brings tears to my eyes because I know everyone does not have the religious freedoms and opportunities that I have as an American.

When Irvin Berlin was five years old his family arrived in the United States, having fled anti-Semitic persecution in Russia. He became a citizen in 1918, the same year he started his military career and wrote "God Bless America, Land That I Love."

And my prayer today is that He continues to "Stand Beside Her and Guide Her Through the Night with the Light From Above"


Author's Image
Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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Story Comments

  1. Maria Antonette De Ramos -

    This is a very touching story about love, kindness, peace, spirituality and freedom. A simple story yet so powerful and touching. Could someone write the full story and make it through a motion picture? This is a very inspiring story about how people differ which is bond by one universal language which is Love. It's really amazing, the humility of one's heart makes me cry. I really truly love the story with all my heart.

    • Deana Landers -

      Maria, thank you so much for your kind words. Words like yours are why I write. Deana

  2. Shefali -

    Beautiful story

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you Shefali. I hope you will come back and read more of my stories. I appreciate your comments.Deana

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