By Robin Karr
We suffer because evil exists in our world. And, some people obviously suffer more than others. I have suffered beyond my most horrific nightmares, and I have sought out God about why, many times. This is deep, but here goes my take on this big question/issue. We are in combat against evil – like it or not. (I don’t like it, by the way!) When we accept Christ, we become involved in the battle of good vs. evil. We become a target for evil as it were. For this reason, it’s in our best interest to learn how to deal with evil.
We can’t destroy evil by simply “stomping” it out in any traditional way. In other words, we can’t attempt to deal with evil by destroying it. We can’t just beat the evil out of someone or yell it out of someone. If we did that, we would destroy ourselves in the process – spiritually, if not physically. It is really in the struggle between good and evil that life has its meaning and hope that goodness can succeed. Evil can always be defeated by goodness – always. We overcome evil with good and all of that.
It is really in the struggle between good and evil that life has its meaning and hope that goodness can succeed.
So, our method of assault on evil must be that of goodness or love. This sounds so simple, and yet it is very complex. This method of destroying evil is extremely difficult in ‘practice’ – so difficult that we tend to shy away from it I think. In fact, it can seem impossible. How is it possible to love the truly evil? It’s not an easy thing to embrace ugliness or evil with the sole motive of hope that in some unknown way, a transformation into beauty or good will occur. There may be dozens of ways to deal with evil, but there is only one way to “conquer” it and that is with LOVE.
Evil can only be conquered within a willing, living human being. When evil can be absorbed into a willing human’s heart like a spear, evil loses its power and goes no further. I don’t know how this can happen, but I believe it can and does somehow happen.
Before my children were permanently taken from me for absolutely no reason, before I was arrested for no reason, and before I was labeled retarded and mentally ill for being a Christian, I always thought I would not have to really ever deal with evil – not really. I always thought Christ took care of evil on the cross over 2000 years ago, and that was just the end of it somehow. And, while Christ did ultimately “conquer” evil, we still battle evil in this world. And, the overcoming and/or healing of evil in this world can only be accomplished by the love of a ‘willing’ individual. In other words, a willing sacrifice is required. The individual “healer” (as it were) must allow his or her own soul to become the battleground. He or she must sacrificially absorb the evil. I won’t pretend to understand how this can happen, and that individual’s very soul not be destroyed in the process, but I am living proof that a soul can go on – even after being penetrated by great evil.
I freely admit that I don’t completely “get” all of this. I used to think I knew all the answers in life. Now, I’m not sure I even know half the questions. Seriously… I’ve questioned God many, many times regarding how I would not be destroyed by the evil that was being purposely directed at me. After all, I’m only one woman – just flesh and blood and not without sin myself. I couldn’t see how anything good could possibly come from me just deciding to love – love all of those who were directing unspeakable evil toward me. I couldn’t see what would be achieved beyond some meaningless trade-off.
“When a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”–C.S. Lewis, from The Chronicles of Narnia
This is still somewhat of a mystery to me, and there’s no way I can say it’s not and be truthful here. But, I think C.S. Lewis said it best when he wrote: “When a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.” I don’t know if any of us are really capable of truly understanding how this can happen. We are only human after all. But, I do believe it does happen. I do believe that good people can deliberately allow themselves to be pierced by the evil of others – to be broken and yet somehow not broken – to even be killed in some sense and yet still survive and not succumb to the evil. I am living proof that this is possible. I do believe that whenever this kind of trade-off happens, there is a slight shift in the balance of power between good and evil in some way.
Robin Karr holds a B.S. in English and taught at the high-school level. Her oldest son Christopher is an accomplished playwright. Robin’s Facebook page, which is devoted to little-discussed hysterectomy consequences, can be found here.