The Scholar, the Skull, and the Abbot

The story is told of an archaeologist scholar who specialized in the earliest era of Christianity. He decided to take some students to visit ancient monasteries near the Sinai in Egypt.

He was no believer.

Upon arriving at one such site after a long journey he knocked on the entrance door hoping to be allowed inside with two of his best students.

The Abbot agreed and together a tour of the monastery was made.

At one point during the tour they happened upon an ancient room wherein the skulls of countless generations of monks were kept.

The scholar and his students made notes upon examining these, though he was not allowed to touch any.

Finally, the scholar allowed his mischievous agnosticism to kick up. He looked at the old bent Abbot with the great beard and the younger monk who showed the skulls.

Then he said with a twinkle in his eye, “Father Abbot, sir, you don’t really mean to tell me you believe these skulls will actually live again!”

The Abbot lifted his head, startled a bit by the question.

He thought for a moment, smiled, and said,

“You marvel that these bones could, by the will of God, live again. I marvel that they ever lived at all.”

— SH/2/22/22

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