Some sad things have happened lately; sad things happen every day. At those times when your blinders come off and you see how fleeting this all is, how fleeting we are, it is scary. I get scared.
I was in one of those funks recently. I saw death and sadness and despair everywhere I looked, and I tried so hard to not see it, but God made me see it. He was working on my heart again... ugh.
But sadness and evil and all things terrible actually reaffirm God for me. I know that may sound odd, so hear me out.
When we hear about horrible things, about babies being gunned down, about cancers and car accidents our minds and bodies reject it. There is some thing, some feeling, that strikes every fiber of our being and screams, "NO! NO! This cannot be!" We just know that this is WRONG in every kind of way. And that is because it is. This isn't the way life is supposed to be; something is broken.
Our God designed our spirits for more than this - for oneness with Him, for a life without death and pain and separation, but then evil came into our world and we let it have control. So now we live with Good and Evil in our world and they are all the time at war.
This world is a preview, I think, nothing is the real thing. We see slices of Good - laughing and babies and good meals with friends and wine and cozy sleeping. But none of that is the Real Good, it is just a reflection of it in a mirror. We also see slices or reflections of Evil. And actually, it is God trying to help us see.
"The human spirit will not even begin to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are, the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil, every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt... And the pain is not only recognizable evil, but evil impossible to ignore. We rest contentedly in our sins and stupidities... and can even ignore our pleasures, but pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
C.S. Lewis, The Problem with Pain
In the name of full disclosure, I have not read this book yet, but I thought this quote was wonderful.
We can't ignore it forever. We have to recognize our situation - we are in the middle of Good and Evil and our experience is us having a chance to choose one. Now, very few people actually choose Evil. I think most who go the way of Evil have chosen a product of it that masquerades as good - money, success, or most potently, themselves. But that is their choice, nonetheless. We all make choices like that, probably everyday. But when we choose The Good, aka God's redemptive love through Christ, it trumps all the times we have chosen Evil in the past and all of the times we will choose it in the future. We still choose ourselves, even in Christ, but it's okay because that is forgiven too. But hopefully we will choose ourselves a little less with His help.
But what hurt and sadness and death and loss teach us, if we allow it, is that one day there will be no Evil. We will live the way our souls were designed to live, in peace and perpetual goodness with God. Not even the goodness that we experience here on Earth, but the Real Good - our worldly good on steroids. God wants that for us, for our hearts, so badly. It is the thing He wants the most. And so he sends bad things to our world to remind us, to awaken us to our current situation. He allows the Evil because He loves us.
And I will leave you with a little more C.S. Lewis, because I think he is wonderful and can say so eloquently the things I cannot.
"If I find in myself desires which nothing in this life can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world... Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country..."
From Mere Christianity, specifically the chapter on Hope. I cannot recommend a book so vital as this one, aside from the Bible, of course :)