Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Only Hope for Monsters | Christianity Today

The Only Hope for Monsters | Christianity Today:
"... Imagine my horror five years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I realized that a real live thing had taken residence in my body—an 'alien' that was trying to kill me. Thankfully, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation brought a halt to the monster's plans. But as dreadful as that experience was, I've since come to believe that an even more malevolent creature grows unabated in my soul. ..."
Kay Warren writes a thoughtful account of her trip to Rwanda, where she expected to see and recognize those who were complicit in the genocide of 1994. She found instead people much like herself, facing the same day-to-day problems she faced in the US. They loved their families, worshipped the Lord -- and some, no doubt, were caught up in the wave of evil that took over Rwanda nearly 15 years ago.

She realized that she had to deal with the evil within before she could presume to judge the evil in another place. Only through seeking God's forgiveness and realizing that without Him we are without hope can we help provide hope to others who, like ourselves, are imprisoned by evil.

C.S. Lewis called it "the illusion of self-sufficiency" in The Problem of Pain. It is called "the sin of independence" in The Shack, which I recently read. These ideas both have to do with the danger of going it alone. When the pain within is unacknowledged and unaddressed, there is little that we can do about the pain around us, except perhaps to add to it.

But in allowing God to shepherd us though our pain, we can overcome its effects and become free to love each other as ourselves.

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