To thirst for Living Waters
Gregori is a third officer on board the PACIFIC ANGEL*. In broken English he talks to Danie when he sees the Russian Bibles displayed in the dining room.
'I have no faith', he spits out, as if faith leaves a bad taste in his mouth. He seems to think the expression is a victory. In his best, but very broken English, he blames the church history and communism for his rebellion.
Patiently and with understanding Danie explores Gregori’s combative expression. He asks how Gregori recognised the Bible, trying to understand what extinguished the flame of faith in Gregori’s life.Gregori says there are many churches in the city where he lives.
There are many Christians living in his hometown. He explains this matter-of-factly as if it does not bother him.
But, he hesitates for a moment before saying that his grandmother is a Christian. These words seem to soften the combative words and show a little more understanding.
When he talks about his grandmother, he shows the admiration he has for her. His body language changes and in a softer tone it becomes clear that she is close to Gregori’s heart. He truly admires his Christian grandmother and how she lives her life. Danie also recognises a longing, a desire to find that fire burning in her heart to burn in his heart too. He also wants to drink from the Living Waters that are so visible in her life.
As unexpectedly as rain when the sun is shining, Danie wonders whether the so-called victory over faith may not be his biggest loss. Could it be that his search is to find exactly what he had given up? The discussion continues, touching on the everlasting search, the unending journey through the desert.
Danie and Gregori say goodbye in a totally different mood compared to the mood when they met. The greeting is without vengeance and without accusation. It is not as if Gregori accepted faith, it is rather as if a seed planted a long time ago was watered again.
As he turns around, waving Danie goodbye for the last time, he holds a Russian Bible under the other arm.