Saturday, May 08, 2004

Heart of Darkness

A glance at the headlines makes me wonder why on earth God would consider humankind, that He would set us above even the angels.

A look at the smiling, smirking faces of our soldiers gloating over the mistreatment of prisoners charged to their care makes me wonder about the darkness that is within us. I wonder what their thinking was, these soldiers. Was it that they were "them," the enemy? Was it a kind of mob mentality? Was it that it was just fun, and the perpetrators never expected to be called to accountability?

The grinning "thumbs up" poses negate any argument that they were simply following orders, the good ol' Nazi-concentration-camp guard's excuse.

These soldiers knew photos were being taken -- they were posing for many of them. Who took them, I wonder, and was it the photographer's intent to blow the whistle, or were the photos being taken as trophies of sorts? How thick-headed not to realize they would make their way into other hands.

At any rate, those grinning faces are a reminder, not only of the evil of war, but the evil of which the human heart is capable. The heart of darkness that can be impenetrable when we do not open ourselves up to the light of God.

It is so easy to be indifferent or callous. Even as a Christian, it is easy to look at another person and see just an object of ministry and not a human being with hopes, aspirations, dreams and loves. It is so easy to write people off without even thinking about it. I know how easy it is to be be wrapped up in myself, to make it all about me instead of seeing another human being and what it is that Christ would have me do.

We are lost without that divine light. The dimmer it is, the more awful the things of which we are capable.

God, please send your light into all the dark places, into the prisoner of war camps, into the prisons, into war and hate and violence.

God, help me open my heart to you; let the light of your love fill it until I am so full of you my heart cannot bear to hold any more evil.

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