So, dark things in this post. Trigger warning.
I have met the enemy and he is NOT us. That is a long story I shall not tell at the moment, but when you get a good look at genuine evil, man’s inhumanity to man just pales in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, people are capable of horrendous cruelty and breath-taking acts of stupidity, but we don’t even rate on the scale of evil.
As big and bad and awful as some people like to imagine themselves to be, we are actually almost pathetic. Heck, most of the time when we kill, steal, and destroy, we don’t even have the wherewithal to understand what we’re actually destroying. Forgive them Father for they know not what they do is a real thing in the world. We haven’t got a clue.
There are a couple of bloggers right now, bigoted, hateful, revenge filled, who fancy themselves Dark Lords with a pack of evil minions. They speak some appalling and atrocious things, but there is an innocence there that is almost pathetic and tragic. There is nothing in all their pride filled imaginings that can even compare to the truth of what evil really is all about. Like avatars in some kind of role play game, they fancy themselves killing imaginary enemies over and over again, relentlessly torturing them. It simply doesn’t work that way. Revenge, rage, envy, are all bottomless pits severely limited by the physical world. You can only kill someone but once and torture shatters someone’s brain long before you ever find your elusive sense of satisfaction. Wannabe warlords of hatred, emphasis on the wannabe part.
You cannot vent your hatred, because hatred is a thing that just grows. The more you try to pour it out the more ravenous it becomes.
There’s a woman recently arrested for going into a morgue and stealing some body parts off of one of her perceived now dead enemies, another woman. That’s what revenge is like, her enemy is long dead but the rage lives on. She is left behind, empty, powerless, compelled to try to disrespect and shame the dead, as if such a thing were even possible. Yes, its deeply demented and bizarre, but also somewhat sad and pathetic. Far closer to genuine evil is the brokeness within that woman’s spirit, what she seeks to protect and defend she also destroys. She is eating herself up from the inside out. Perhaps she is already one of the walking dead.
Child molesters steal, they rob children of their innocence, their sense of safety, their ability to trust. It’s an abomination and an atrocity, but most pedophiles have no awareness what so ever about what they really steal, what a huge theft that is, what pain they inflict. Yes it’s evil, but it’s evil with very little awareness of its own self. Most of them are simply driven by compulsion, perversion, and no empathy for their victims. They’re really just sad and pathetic.
There are some real atrocities going on in the world right now that are clearly evil and malevolent, mankind in all his prideful arrogance believing himself to be so big and bad, he just impotently attempts to commit more shocking and horrific acts of violence than ever before. It can’t be done, there is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing we can do to each other that hasn’t already been done by hundreds who came before us. God is not shocked, He’s seen it all already a thousand times over. Grieved on our behalf perhaps, but not shocked.
Somebody smart once said that “the enemy’s greatest deception was in convincing the world he wasn’t real.” Words of wisdom there. Someone else came along and claimed, “I have met the enemy and he is us.”
He is NOT us. We are vengeful and foolish, power-hungry and rage filled, but we don’t even rate. There’s something about people that makes us like to imagine we’re far bigger and badder then we really are, god-like or demon-like. We aren’t crap. We don’t even know what evil is.
Human evil is actually so pathetic, it’s almost boring. Actually it is boring because it’s so common, so easy, so frequent. It’s like some cheaply manufactured product that everybody has already seen before. It’s not big and bad and exciting, it’s just foolishness. Hate is easy, but love, now that takes real courage. That is not easy at all, nor is it all that common. It is still infrequent enough that we tend to take note when we see it. Boring? Not even close. Foolishness is boring.
There are some real benefits to understanding that the enemy is real and that he is not us. For one, it puts the human capacity for evil back in perspective. We are so small and impotent, shaking our mean little fists at things we don’t even understand. We are not truly evil however, we totally lack the wherewithal to even understand what that is. There may well be some benefit to getting in touch with our darker side, to discovering the nature of our own selves, but dark lords of evil? No, just foolish, prideful people with brokeness and wounding like everyone else. Easily controlled and manipulated foolish and prideful ones. Half the time we aren’t even afforded the dignity of being fully in control of our own wickedness.
It’s very challenging to try to explain something that is beyond the realm of many people’s experience. There’s nothing to relate it to. Try telling people that there is an evil so vast out there that it will drive you insane in about two seconds and they’ll act as if you already are.
We’re living in a world right now that resists talking about the dark stuff. Worse yet, we tend to think the dark stuff is kind of fun, entertaining, bizarre. We’re totally desensitized to it and yet oddly obsessed. Try speaking the real truth about what evil truly is however, and people tend to not believe you. We laugh in the face of such things. We wouldn’t be laughing if we really understood.
Yeshua actually means safety, refuge, to deliver, to rescue. It is not really the evil within our own selves that we need safety and protection from. Our own foolishness just ain’t that special.