There is a distinct difference between the enemy you know, visible, out in the open, and in attack mode, and the enemy that remains silent, operates behind life’s curtains, and attacks you from your blind spots. Stating the obvious, one you know and have a chance to listen to. With knowledge and insight, there is a chance for understanding and an intentional response. In contrast, when the enemies stay behind the curtain, it is difficult to respond without going to war.
I am struck by three reminders that are echoing in the whispers life leaves with me. First, the outcome of being under attack, visibly or behind the scenes, feels the same. It hurts! One is left gently crying the psalms; “You’ve attacked me fiercely from every side, raining down blows till I’m nearly dead.” (Psalm 88.17) One’s heart is bruised. One’s soul is weakened. One’s physical strength is less than it was. Silent blows hurt as much or more than loud, visible, in your face ones.
Your life and mine always seems to have blows in it. Evil is on the move, attacking anyone it can, just because it can. We live in a world of conflicting priorities and competition for the heart of living. I cannot claim to be innocent of the behavior that results in silent blows. Even when I do not need to, I catch myself disagreeing for one reason or another and ready to go to battle. The reminder is that we are going to be hit, often when we least expect or deserve the blow.
In moments of pain, in the presence of beauty and wonder, the question that we must answer remains the same; what will we do with the opportunity we have? The questions of why, how, and what remain with us always. Each moment an invitation that we must respond to. Doing nothing is a response. Being intentional is an option. Living engaged creates alternative options.
When I get to Despair’s I catch myself turning to Hope and Beauty, each a source of courage and strength.