Friday, 15 February 2008

THE D A R K N E S S

"Light has come into this world, but men loved darkness instead of the light because their deeds
were evil. Everyone who hates the light will not come to it, because it exposes their deeds, but whoever comes by means of truth will come to the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what they have done has been done through God". John's Gospel, chapter 3, verses 19-21.


It is without doubt one of the most dreadful and terrifying things that can happen to people - when a lie is given power and credibility and promoted as good and right. I can recall many years ago watching the film, 'The Killing Fields' and feeling totally horrified at how human beings can give themselves over (via fear or selfishness) to the atrocious. It is, sadly, a common tale of our times; a savage age filled with examples in almost every part of the world of such carnage, but rarely do we face the reality of what generates such evil. Thankfully, if painfully, life can occasionally intervene to jolt us back to this reality. It did for me this week.

Traveling on a train to a nearby city, I encountered a group of youths, aged between around eleven and thirteen years of age. They decided to sit in the carriage where I was, and, despite this being deemed a zone where mobile phones and the like should not be used, proceeded to loudly begin to use such devices.

It wasn't just their flagrant disrespect for everyone else in the place that was the problem - it was the sheer level of profanity in the materials they were accessing and discussing without any sense of conscience or shame. Two boys across from me, not yet in their teens, openly discussed 'family porn' videos they had downloaded that morning and homosexual acts as 'fun', before joining in singing a grotesque rap song they had on their phones.
I sought to ask them, politely, to turn off these devices as they were not meant to be used - this merely resulted in a few minutes quieter use, before they became even louder.

I found myself shaking from the incident as I left the train; the incident was like a nightmare in slow motion, and for good reason - there was simply no respect in these young boys for themselves or others, allowed at such an age to travel without parents or adults they could look up to, that would prevent them so easily reveling in such corruption (one even spoke of how his parent liked the videos!).

The darkness that resides in the human heart which makes us shameless has indeed become evident, vaunted in our world, and this in itself is a judgment upon a race which now loudly denies the God who formed us and has brought light into our miserable estate.

The last few days have made me so very aware of the fact that we all share a propensity to fall;
to mis-use what God has bestowed and demean what He has made us to be, but thankfully,
as was the case for Noah following his drunken errors, there is mercy if we seek the light of genuine grace, found in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.


1 comment:

Vernon T. Schwump said...

Howard,

I am very sorry for your having gone through an experience like you did recently on the train.

It seems as though the thin veneer of civility and morality which covers a world that is in the grip of evil, is wearing away all to often and all too clearly as we enter this 21st century.

In days past this darkness seemed to apprear only in the midst of terrible human travail such as war, or totalitarian regimes. These evils have always been there, in our societys, but were restricted to small groups, or practiced only in the minds eye of closet perversions.

But in these days, the mayhem of sin, and the crassness which accompanies those sins of moral degeneracy has oozed to the surface like the puss from a sore that has festerd for too long.

Anything and everything goes these days, and the moral relativism and political correctness of the day has silenced the mouths of those that would say "No!"
We are like voices in the wilderness. A few times myself I have run into similar situatons, only to have heard from teenagers, "keep my f_ _ _ _in' mouth shut!" "and "Who the f_ _ _ do you think you are!?" While other adults stood there in shock. I don't know if they were in shock because of the kids, or because of me.

I see the evil that has gripped members of my own family and the way they go about their lives aimlessly, denying the Lord our God and preoccupied with the trivialities of life.

I quite often have to catch myself and remind myself that "there go I, but
for the grace of God."

I too, was exactly where many of these coarse youths, and lost family members are. Maybe not in quite the same open fashion, but underneath my own veneer of normalcy that I had fabricated.

It is by the sheer power and grace of our Lord Jesus that I can write these poor words to you today. For He has had mercy upon me a sinner.

I often pray for opprotunities for a moment or two alone, with an individual caught in the grip of sin, that I may have a chance to find out where it is in their life that they are being had. To find out where they hurt and have that pain exposed for a brief moment. And then to tell them of the wonderful thing that has happened for them. To speak of the life that was given for them that they may have real life, authentic life, and the forgiveness of all their sins. These are the moments that I live for when I'm at my best. Afterwords I pray that His will be done and that He might have mercy upon their souls and grab hold of them, and give them a living faith in Himself.

It's not always easy,and you won't very often be thanked.

I think this is our task as Christians. To proclaim Him into the ears of whomever is near and let the Word do it's work.

I do this task all too infrequently and all too poorly, But thanks be to God that I am not a barrier to the One that never rests, and who's work is strong, and true.

May the Peace that passes all understanding be with you, Howard.

Thanks for a very disturbing, but poignant post.

Your Friend,

Steve