The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.
— J. R. R. Tolkien
We forget that God is right there, waiting for us to turn to him, no matter how dire our situation. We forget the reassuring words of his messengers: “Fear not.” God always seeks to draw close to us — even in the depths of hell.
…it comes down to this: the only way to truly overcome our fear of death is to live life in such a way that its meaning cannot be taken away by death. It means fighting the impulse to live for ourselves, instead of for others. It means choosing generosity over greed. It also means living humbly, rather than seeking influence and power. Finally, it means being ready to die again and again — to ourselves, and to every self-serving opinion or agenda.
~Johann Christoph Arnold
We watch once again as unspeakable terror strikes down people so much like ourselves — those who are living ordinary lives, doing routine things. Tears never need translation, no matter what foreign or local neighborhood soil is soaked with the blood of innocents.
Evil exists, visits our world daily and yesterday settled like a shroud over Paris. As we learned after the airplanes-as-weapons tragedies of 9/11, massive expense, military action and legislation can barely keep evil-doers at bay and tend to even encourage them. No place on this earth can ever be truly secure through the efforts of mere man. After all, we too are fallen, and those who do evil can look so much like ourselves.
So we must fall back on what we were told long ago and each and every day in 365 different verses in the Word itself: fear not.
Do not be overwhelmed with evil but overcome evil with good.
The goal of this life is to live for others, to live in such a way that death cannot erase the meaning and significance of a life. We are called to give up our selfish agendas in order to consider the needs of the other guy and the greater good. Cherish life, all lives, including, as is crystal clear from Christ’s example, those who hate and want to murder us.
Our only defense against evil is God’s offense; only He will lead us to Tolkien’s “where everything sad will come untrue”, where tears are no longer translated as sorrow, but can only be understood as tears of joy.
Let my prayer arise~
Lord I have cried to Thee,
hearken unto Thee.
Incline not my heart
to evil words.