I read an article the other day that began with the question, “Do you ever wonder if evil exists in the world?”. The story that followed clearly answered the question. I have been troubled by the facts of the story since…it is in the most simplistic terms, one of the worst cases of child abuse I’ve read. I won’t repost it because, honestly, it is too disturbing and I don’t want to further their fame.
A few hours after reading that, our house was filled with roses and streamers and brightly decorated presents and cupcakes. Family came over and we joined together to celebrate a little girl.
The striking contrast of the celebration of our little girl and the intentional destruction of another little girl left an ache deep within.
There is evil in this world. The image that we have been given, by inspiration, of a roaraing lion seeking whom he could devour…we need to not let that fade into literary sweetness.
There is a destroying, active evil around us. It should terrify and enrage us.
As I have ‘listened’ to the conversations on FaceBook surrounding gay marriage and abortion and other issues, I hear that same evil stirring the conversation. No…I am not saying what you think.
I am saying that I hear in our hatred and in our rejoicing in the failures of others that evil which seeks to destroy.
I wonder if our easy dismissal of others causes such a deep ache in the heart of God as the story of the intentional destruction of a wee innocent little baby did to my heart. Sometimes we need things to be more obvious before we get it…but God knows the way evil seeks to destroy in a variety of ways. I can be sickened by the more obvious ways, and yet give in to the subtle hatred and the subtle evil around me.
There is evil in our world, and I do not like to talk about it. I talk more about wonder and about creation and about joy and about grace. Evil makes me aware that I am vulnerable and my children are vulnerable and that I am, frankly, incapable of stopping the evil completely. I can put bars on my doors and I can be vigilant and I can protect…but the evil that seeks to destroy us knows our weaknesses and destroys from within as well as from without.
Here’s the thing. I know that this evil will be dealt with. I know that God has dealt with sin, with the evil within me…I know that He has made a way to set me free from the hold of destruction on my life…and I know that ultimately He will deal with the evil that seeks to destroy. That is not fairy tale and it is not wishful thinking.
And so, we celebrate and we love and we do not cower.
We step outside into the sunlight fully aware that there is a lion that seeks to destroy us…and yet, we love more tenderly and we are aware that the innocence and delight of our children holds a tinge of pain because that vulnerability is there.
Looking at Madeleine these last few days all I could think was of the little baby who was tormented and destroyed. It made me want to love Madeleine well somehow to honor that other little one. Somehow to say that as much as evil may seek to destroy we will seek to build and to love and to embrace and to celebrate. We do so in the strength of the One who will ultimately deal with the evil.