We’ve all heard the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder. But rarely do we apply it to the world around us.
Instead, we decry that evil abounds everywhere, and we renounce the idea that there is anything loving about a God that allows such things to exist.
But what if this idea is turned on its head?
In light, darkness is the absence of color. In paint, white is the absence of color.
When a lover’s love is out of sight, there is a longing for what is missing.
When freedom is taken away, we long for it.
And when we lose our belongings – we ache inside of us for what is now gone.
When the lights go out, we live in fear of the darkness.
What about evil?
What if I told you that evil didn’t exist?
Murders, theft, natural disasters are all around us. Some actually affect us directly.
Those acts do exist.
But what of the evil behind those acts? What is it that is NOT in those acts?
Is there love for the other person? Is there charity for the one who lost everything to storms?
Are these acts things we see as evil?
But what are they really?
It depends on how you look at them. For all of them lack one thing.
They lack good.
Or do they?
The person perpetrating an evil on someone else against the will of the victim certainly has no love within them for anyone but themselves. In doing that act, they are performing such out of an absence of goodness.
A storm that takes all away from a family is not intrinsically evil. It acts in accordance to nature. But the perception of that act is the absence of the perception of the good that comes out of it.
A war that is foisted upon innocents populations is something we label as “evil”. But, in the end, was there something good that came from it? Typically the answer is “yes”. It showed in full display how wicked man can act against his own from a lack of goodness in his heart toward his fellow man.
Evil is pure absence of pure goodness…
It does not exist. It is the absence of something greater.
And it is the absence of the Good.
Our perspective is wrong…
Any evil act toward ourselves is, also, an act of that absence.
It is how we perceive those acts that creates the perception that God, Who is Goodness Itself, is out of the picture. We are on our own.
But that isn’t the case. In every bad thing that happens, there is always a greater good that comes from it.
Corrie Tenboom is a great example. She lost her family to the evils of a fascist dictator, Hitler. Her father and sister died in concentration camps. She, herself, was in one of those camps, and scheduled to end up in Auschwitz. From a mistake in the records, she was released the day before she was to be unknowingly killed.
Her story of love, forgiveness, and God spread like wildfire around the world. She came out of the ashes to proclaim the goodness of God, even in the darkness of those times.
The same happened with Sabina Wurmbrand during the Nazi invasion of her homeland. Her entire family was murdered, but she forgave her enemies.
Saint Paul addressed the Colossians saying that he rejoiced in his sufferings. (Colossians 1:24)
Those who suffered great losses and hardships didn’t view those things in the same light as we do in the comfort of our own sofas.
Instead, these people saw the inner workings of God through it all.
God, pure Goodness, shown brightest when the darkness tried to fill the world.
Just like a candle in the deepest darkness. That one small light removes the absence of light.
Acts of goodness…
So, too, do the acts of Good in the midst of its antithesis show what is missing.
Evil doesn’t exist…
But the lack of Goodness within us can. If we let it. And if we change our perspective of life away from self, and onto those around us.
Goodness isn’t something we can hang on to and never share.
If you want evil to go away, don’t blame God for it’s presence. The choices we make create the absence of Good.
Even in our very thoughts.
Think about that next time you are tempted to blame God for what doesn’t exist.
He gave us free will for a reason. Let’s not abuse that gift by turning against the Good. Perpetuating the absence of Good only continues the misperception.
And that choice never brings about any good in the end.