Monday, December 17, 2012

Do Not Be Overcome by Evil

My little post last Friday about the sex talk seemed to weaken as the tragedy of the day progressed.  Oh.  There just aren't words for what happened in Connecticut.  I can't even allow myself to think too deeply about what actually happened in that school building -- it overwhelms me.  All I can do is pray.

All the talk about gun control and mental illness and school security is probably appropriate at some point and will need to happen.  But while my hubby and I were listening to the details roll in all day on Friday, we kept listening for people willing to proclaim the truth about this:  it was evil. 

I've mentioned before, I believe, our Bible study teacher from years ago who was a former Satanist.  Full-blown devil-worshipper.  Well acquainted with the forces of darkness.  And he used to tell us complacent, comfortable, cultural Christians in his midst, with great passion, "You just don't understand.  There is Satan.  There is evil." 

No gun restrictions, mental health care, or security measures can stop evil.  That doesn't mean we don't do what we need to do to be wise in those arenas.  But we cannot cure the disease without an accurate diagnosis.

Here's the good news:  the fact that we can recognize evil when it is in our midst reveals that we have an innate knowledge of what is not evil.  The presence of evil gives evidence of the presence of good.  The wonderful quote going around attributed to Mr. Rogers (and who knows, these days, if that attribution is accurate) reminds us that when bad things happen, there are always the good people there, too.  Teachers who give their lives to protect their students.  Firemen who march up the stairs of burning buildings to guide others out.  Policemen who buy boots for barefooted homeless men.

We can never forget, when Evil strikes in the worst way, that Good is there, and Good is stronger, and Good has a name and a battle plan and warriors on the field -- and what's more, the deciding battle has already been won.  As I told my youngest on Friday, Satan is no more than an enraged lame-duck trying to destroy as much as he can before he goes.

"Do not be overcome by evil," scripture tells us, "but overcome evil with good."  We would not be instructed to do this if, in the power of Christ, it were not possible to do.

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