At the cusp of a crisis, I like holding onto the hope that things can only get better. At times, I have scant evidence to hold onto. As this week reminded me, a crisis is a living event. In every moment, something is going on. In the next, things will change. Movement is the one constant. Even as I find the signs of hope, reality forces me to deal with the fact that I can also see Evil’s hand at work.
I am constantly surprised by the way Evil comes into our lives. In fear, I find myself retreating from my aspiration to look out to our community to a personal viewpoint. In uncertainty, I catch myself drifting into attack mode. I desperately want to control something. In my doubts, I find myself wanting to bring others into my puddle of fear, uncertainty, and doubts. It is an ugly process, repeating when I least expect it to. Evil’s reach goes way beyond me.
As I prepare for a new day, I find myself holding on to two revelations. The first is the awareness that Evil can and will strike without notice. It may be obvious, but when I read one person’s remark of surprise, how “the next thing I knew, they had cooked up a plot to murder him,” (Acts 23.28) I realize the signals were there. I should expect Evil to play with an active hand in life.
Second, I will plan my response. I will not wait for Evil to strike. I will anticipate that it is always present. Evil is just that, evil. As I see others, I realize that this could easily be me. My awareness opens me up to the possibility of my response. I can treat others as I would want to be treated, with compassion and understanding. I can respond with an offer to help. I can avoid criticism and words that tear others down. I can be a force of positive change.
Dawn is arriving. As I look west, it is still dark. Today, I come with light.