What Lies Beneath

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9

The advances our society has made are quite impressive: technology, medicine, aeronautics, just to name a few. Each leap forward turns on a new light of hope in the world. Yet, just as we begin to think that we are well on our way to the utopian ideal we aspire to; reality hits us out of nowhere and if we have enough courage, we are forced to admit that some things have not changed at all.

It seems as if these advances, these “points of light” serve to expose a darkness we hoped would eventually be extinguished, as a matter of fact, it seems as if these lights have enraged the darkness; causing it to strike with a vengeance yet unknown to us:

A mother calmly murders her children as they sleep. An eight year old commits suicide in the school bathroom. A child walks into school and kills everyone in his path.

The “beast” is not tamed he is on the prowl. We try and deal with this by telling ourselves that these are system anomalies; expressions that are individual and not representative of our society.

But, are they anomalies? Could they actually be more common to our situation than admitted?

How many of us have a “beast” inside us? Have you ever fantasized about hurting your adversary? Have you ever had secret sexual desires about your best friend’s spouse? Have you ever wondered if you could steal something that would satisfy your longings?

If you are honest, the answer is yes. But, you insist the difference lies in the fact that you’ve never acted upon those thoughts.

A question: How many thoughts have those “anomalies” not acted upon? I think of the television interviews with the neighbors of these folks and hear them say to us: “They seemed like such a nice person.”

How many of you consider yourself a nice person? A good person?

Jesus said that there are none good, no not one. Instead there are people in whom the beast has escaped and those whose tethers are straining. Instead of deceiving ourselves, maybe we should realize that without Jesus, the light of advance only illuminates our despair. And when it does, the darkness is enraged.

Okay, okay, I’ll admit, maybe these “anomalies” didn’t have far to go before their constraint systems broke down and despair took over. That begs a question: How many disappointments before you fall victim to what lies in the dark cellar of the human heart?


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