I should be finishing up my housework at the moment. Or finishing up the next chapter in Peterson’s book so we can continue our discussion about REsurrection Life.
I keep finding myself distracted, though. I’ll come by the computer in the kitchen and stop to check email or to look something up…and I’ll find thoughts about Boston. Friends are posting their thoughts and their prayers. The picture of 8 year old Martin has caught me a few times.
I have prayerd…prayed for peace to settle around that city. You know how ash settles after a fire, or after you blow on a fire…it settles slowly and it is a little fragile. I picture the peace of God settling around the city in that way…slowly, and with a sense of the fragile. Fragile emotions and frayed nerves. Fears and hatred and sorrow…and even hope maybe mixed in.
We are so broken.
Whoever did this…so very broken.
And yet. More than that.
There is evil. I try to ignore it sometimes…and sometimes it is easy to do as I hear my children giggle and I hear the birds and see the sunsets…it is easy to ignore that there is evil that not only seeks our destruction but delights in it. Seeks, as the Bible says, like a lion looking for prey to devour.
That evil…that deep and dark evil that hates us with passion…that stirred those events yesterday, and delighted in the terror.
And we cannot fix that.
We cannot ban enough things or create enough safe zones, arrest enough criminals or arm enough armies. We cannot end it completely. We can only keep its physical violence at bay…and we only do that with limited success.
That evil…and its hold on our brokenness…that has to be eradicated by something, Someone, stronger than ourselves.
I think of the story of another man who hated with passion and who sought destruction. He was held up in his pursuit by others who joined with him. He oversaw executions and ordered others to be doled out by his subordinates. He did all of this with a righteous vengeance….until.
Until he was knocked blind by a God who is able to intervene and call us out of the hold of evil and darkness…and change even our name and our identity.
Saul becomes Paul.
The story repeats thousands of times.
Whoever set those bombs yesterday…whatever thinking lay behind that attack…the best we can hope for is to find the person and lock them up so they can’t act again. We cannot end the evil.
God have mercy….there will be a day when He will end the evil. That is both exhilarating and terrifying. There will be a day when God will say enough. There will be an end to His patience and there will be a culmination to the story.
For those of us who believe…there will be peace that will settle in a way we have never known before…with the absence of evil.
For those who resist Him and who deny Him….there will not be peace.
These are big thoughts. Beyond my imagination, and yet the startling, frightening face of evil that lashed out yesterday reminds me that we are in the midst of the story. We are in the midst of the struggle, and we are hated.
We are also loved.
Protected for eternity.
That does not ease the pain, I would guess, in this moment for Martin’s father as he waits to see if his wife will survive and how his 6 year old with an amputation will cope. However…as that peace settles more solidly, I pray that the reality of this God who faced evil and obliterated it….this God who will not let evil finally win…this God is real. This is the God we believe upon…and it is in the shelter of His wing we find refuge from the evil.