I get tired of writing these kinds of posts.
I'm tired of the killings and the murders, the crimes and the carnage, our seemingly insatiable appetite for all of the gory details. I'm tired of lunatics with guns and fanatics with car bombs. I'm tired of watching parents bury their children and children waking up as orphans. I'm done. I've had it. I want to wake up in the morning, shake my head from side to side and let the memory of such heartbreak be cast off like tiny droplets of water. I want to shed the realization that there is evil in this world. A very real evil that wants nothing more than to "steal, kill, and destroy."
I'm a mother.
This is the world my children will inherit. At night, I sit beside their beds, smooth aside their baby fine hair and wonder, "What would I have done if it had happened to me?" What if one moment, all was well in the world and in the next, everything was irrevocably changed.
I think that's why our hearts hurt when we hear stories about Boston, Newton, New York City, and Aurora. We can't help but put ourselves in their shoes. We walk along city streets. We drop our children off at school. We go to our regular places of business and entertainment. We sit in church pews and movie theaters. Never knowing.
And then the questions come: "How could a good God allow this?" Why does He not intervene? Why do the innocent die? What can we do to stop this from happening again? There are no easy answers. More guns, fewer guns. A parade of political pundits each claiming to have a solution. I hate to tell you, but there is no solution for the problem of evil, at least not yet.
We don't like to talk about "evil." For some of us it conjures images of a shiny horned devil, some sort of caricature that perches on your shoulder telling you to eat that piece of cake when you're supposed to be on a diet.
Evil is not the opposite of good, it's the absence of it. Satan is not God's equal or opposite. He is not all powerful and he is not ultimately in control. He does however have a limited amount of time to do as much damage as possible. His time is running out and he knows it.
The temptation is to plant ourselves in front of a TV or a computer screen and consume images of the death and destruction. I think it's natural to get angry and want justice. I think it's normal to mourn and grieve. However, allowing these images to permeate and disturb our hearts and minds is not always healthy, nor is the quest for revenge fueled by hatred. I love this quote attributed to Fred Rogers:
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world.
I don't want to draw attention to the evil, I want to emphasize the good. I don't want my focus to be on the short-lived victory of evil men, but on the small beautiful battles. The firemen rushing up a burning tower. The nurse cradling a frightened child. The teacher putting herself between a gunman and an innocent student. These are the people I want to hear about on the nightly news. These are the glimpses of God in the midst of a desperately wicked world.
As a Christian, I believe that one day evil will be dealt with once and for all. Death will be replaced by life. Those who morn will be comforted. What has been destroyed will be renewed. What has been stolen will be restored. I don't just "hope" that one day evil will be destroyed. I know that it will.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
Spoilers . . . Good wins.