The cloaked side of Terror
– Daniel Thejus
“If Hitler came through this door today I’d be happy as ever to see him and have him here. I know there was a dark side to him but that side doesn’t exist to me. I’m not familiar with that side of him” – Winifred Williams.
“Apparently these people are very sober, very intelligent and courteous people. People will not suspect that they harbour such views in their mind. They are more dangerous than rogues on the street”- The Karnataka spokesperson, on the recent bombing at the Glasgow Airport.
We tend to make value judgments on people and on ourselves just because they or we are ‘nice’ sober humans. I believe everybody is “nice” over a period of time. If only we had the opportunity to spend more time with Hitler, I believe, we would have made the fellow out to be a decent, nice good man. Winifred Williams one of Hitler’s girlfriend, wrote him –”My dear, dear friend and Fuhrer… You provide happiness which is beyond words.” The poor Jews brushed him on the wrong side or maybe he was just frustrated that Stefanie Isak his teenage obsession, a Jew, never succumbed to him. And so the poor guy reacted in the best way known to him. As pop psychology suggests he was only a product of his surroundings.
We talk a lot about progress. We assume education or whatever it is that is considered to be progressive will liberate this or that nation and this or that person. I’m sure it will but if it lacks perspective on what is True, Good and Beautiful the outcome seems to be disastrous. Like what D.L. Moody said “If a man steals nuts and bolts of a railway track as an uneducated man, after obtaining an education, he will steal the entire railway track.” We have for instance, educated religious fundamentalists- like Kafeel and the other young sober, sick, courteous, polite and intelligent men who in the holy name of global warming drove a flaming vehicle into the Glasgow airport.
Are we pursuing PhD’s in “Philiofolly”- the love of madness and rage? Chesterton says with, “the modern worship of progress and novelty; (people) think anything odd and new must be an advance. If you went to him and proposed to eat your grandmother, he would agree with you, so long as you put it on hygienic and public grounds, as a cheap alternative to cremation. So long as you progress fast enough it seems a matter of indifference to him whether you are progressing to the stars or the devil.”
A certain nice, good, rich young ruler (a favorite hit on Shaadi.com) came to Jesus recognizing there was more to life than what he had already. This man was ‘good’ (good as popularly understood); It takes a certain amount of goodness in order to recognize good and evil; like ‘it takes waking to know what sleeping is’ or sanity to know what insane is, the opposite is rarely or madly true. He didn’t seem to pose any serious threat to the decencies of life, his relationship with other human beings- ostensibly good. He was a very religious sober young man. He was the typical nice good backstreet boy. A moralist. He loved the poor, fought for the rights of his fellow human beings, loved and cared for his folks as well. Jesus seems to have loved that in him (Mark 10:21). But then he lacked one thing; he seems to have lacked perspective the correct perspective.
Like Numa once said, “you need to be connected to the right hub”. Then the spokes that spring out of it will have Life- True, good and beautiful Life. Sam Thambusamy says, “Being good or doing good is no longer a matter of perspective. It is not even a matter of choice. It becomes an expression of what we are on the inside.” Morality alone is frustrating but Relationality is fulfilling.
In taking up our cross and following Him, our broken, wandering vacant minds are filled. The hub is (re)new(ed). “Morality is indispensable: but the Divine Life, which gives itself to us and which calls us to be gods, intends for us something in which morality will be swallowed up. We are to be re-made. All the rabbit in us is to disappear – the worried, conscientious, ethical rabbit as well as the cowardly and sensual rabbit. We shall bleed and squeal as the handful of fur come out; and then, surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy” said C. S Lewis
In Christ, the good we do finds meaning. And the evil that we assumed to be good is cast away. “If Hitler came through this door today I’d be happy as ever to see him and have him here. I know there was a dark side to him but that side doesn’t exist to me. I’m not familiar with that side of him,” said Winifred Williams. Hitler’s girlfriends loved him with a love that any man would envy. But when caught in his most truthful moment- Naked- we will realize that he was all along a donkey wearing the fur coat of a lion; A wolf in sheep’s clothing. And we will never know when he will throw away his suffocating mask and kick you in your face. Why only him, as a matter of fact, we will never know when we, unable to stifle the impulse, will turn around and kick our own blessed faces.
When we don’t have the sun, the dark side of the moon is just as bad as the bright side of the moon. In just looking at the Son there is no good. But when you look along the light of the Son, the darkness clears and we begin to see clearly – Bobby Thejus