This week a man got into his car and drove through a Christmas parade, leaving behind him a trail of dead and wounded.
And we are reminded of evil. We are reminded of the consequences that come to the innocent, consequences of a culture that fosters death and hatred. A culture that amplifies chaos and nihilism, the brothers who bring hell with them wherever they go.
And too often they have gone into the ears of the outsider and turned him into a madman who wishes to test the theory he is told is true, that human beings have no real value, that he is owed something from strangers he has never met, that the world has turned against him unjustly, that enemies are responsible for his own personal and moral failures.
We know this story because we have seen it over and over, through the centuries the story comes to all people in all places, the madman disconnected from the truth of his origins, disconnected from the God who made him, and the madman uses a gun or a bomb or an SUV or a machete to kill and determine whether the theory is true or false, that man is nothing, that life is unfair, that chaos is the only reality worth recognizing and so it must be embraced fully.
And a man climbs into a car and runs over people in a parade.
Wickedness and hatred spread like disease between the hearts of men every day, and I know that there are people paid to accelerate the hatred, people in suits on television programs, paid handsomely to feed the darkness. Politicians disburse the hatred so that there is someone to blame, someone who must be overcome and crushed. If you would only elect them the world could be made right once and for all, but the world is not made right. Four years later the world is not right and we realize the keys of the kingdom have been handed to yet another liar in a suit who takes a tenth of our crops, our children, our work, our everything.
The culture where meaninglessness reigns is a culture where man-made tragedy is commonplace. Death consumes the innocent. And suffering devours those who did not choose it.
This is the disconnect between what we know to be true and what we also know to be true. That we are formed out of love, but we act out of hate. And what can bridge the divide?
Courage. Nothing else. Courage rising out of the men and women who must impose love on their enemies, who must plant seeds of ancient power in all they do. Be courageous. Be strong. Be willing to face the monster that is lurking inside the chaotic man, for that monster can be overcome. That monster will fold in the shadow of a man who remembers who he truly is. You are more than you are right now. Courage is the measure of a man.
Do not submit. Do not fold like a weakling in the face of evil. Do not run and hide from the armies of soft-minded nihilists. Stand before them as Elijah on Mount Carmel. Dare them into your own presence that the fire of God may come down and reveal what is true and what is glorious.
The remedy is coming. The war is won, the war goes on. This is our vigil. Let us be patient, let us wait upon the Lord, and let us conquer death with love. You already have more than enough.