Mankind’s history is strewn with sordid stories of horrific evil. The yellowed pages of history as well as the fresh pages of the daily paper are littered thick and knee deep with accounts of ruthless destruction, mindless devastation, heartless obliteration and acts so viciously awful that they are at times entirely incomprehensible. We can cull through the endless annuals of history and find them brimming with evil acts both large and small. At the end of any day we can pull up the news of the past twenty-four hours and find them saturated with the very same evil often carried out in the very same way. Evil abounds.
Evil in Our Faces
The ability to coldly and effectively destroy others, as well as the many devious and varied ways that destruction of that kind is carried out is liberally splashed across the screens and scrolling pages of much of the media, gorging us on a daily diet of this most dark side of mankind. These acts are often spun in captivating images and gripping language that sometimes seems more designed to generate a viewership rather than objectively and reverently communicate a tragedy. Evil can author a compelling script that’s offered the platform of High Definition, high speed internet and surround sound.
Evil in Our Faces Leaves the Good Missed
In the expanding and sometimes engulfing focus on evil, we miss the good as any good is relentlessly marginalized and ignorantly shoved off into lonely corners. Evil is completely brazen. Good is quietly subtle. Evil is tantalizing. Good is emboldening. Evil is something that calls us to deceptive play. Good calls us to hard and sweaty sacrifice. Evil makes no demands that we step up. Good is all about stepping up . . . over and over. Evil tells us that our agenda rules and that we have unrestrained permission to gorge ourselves sick on whatever that agenda desires. Good tells us that our agenda is the agenda of the person next to us. Clearly, evil has quite a degree of appeal. So, it gets plenty of attention.
What We’re Capable Of
Because evil has a captivating appeal, it too often has the focus as well. Because it does, we miss the ability of mankind to perform incredible acts of valor and monumental actions of unimaginable sacrifice. We forget the inherent good within us that causes us to step up at tremendous risk to ourselves in order to eliminate the risk faced by another. There is something within us that rises far above our own sense of self-preservation and calls us to throw self-preservation to the wind and subsequently do things we could not have imagined that we were capable of doing.
Responding to the “great good” within us causes us to be “great people.” Responding to the great good within us thrusts us up to who and what we were originally designed by God to be. By choice, we live terribly small lives that are constricted by fear. Yet, tragedy beckons us to step up, leap out of those constraints and vault into our own fullness. It causes us to smash our pre-imposed boundaries and surge across our own superficial limits in the pursuit of our true design. Tragedy triggers the marvelous good within us and unleashes it in ways that are stunning so that we run into the face of danger because inherently we know that it’s the right thing to do. That reality should be our focus.
We desperately need to celebrate the great good of our humanity. May the astonishing good that beats the evil in any situation be the thing that’s focused upon, revered, appreciated, cherished and relentlessly cultivated. May that great good be the focus of each and every life. May the elevation and cultivation of that good be the commitment of a nation now reeling and rocked by tragedy.
Let’s not let evil take center stage. May the great goodness of our great God as intricately woven into the very fabric of our souls be pre-eminent on the stage of any tragedy. And may that great goodness be cultivated throughout our days whether those days are marked by tragedy or lived out in joy and bliss. Thank God for a great good that will never be beaten by any tragedy regardless of how great it might be.