As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet
leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by
Brezhnev's widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed.
Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev's wife performed an act of great
courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of
civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her
husband's chest. There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who
had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life,
and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same
Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband.
Gary Thomas, in Christian Times, October 3, 1994, p. 26.
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