“The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are, the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil; every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt. . . . And pain is not only immediately recognizable evil, but evil impossible to ignore. We can rest contentedly in our sins and in our stupidities; and anyone who has watched gluttons shovelling down the most exquisite foods as if they did not know what they were eating, will admit that we can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. A bad man, happy, is a man without the least inkling that his actions do not ‘answer’, that they are not in accord with the laws of the universe.” (C.S.Lewis, “The Problem of Pain”, chapter 6, page 81 in the paperback edition)
The world, by and large, has suddenly been struck dumb by the unspeakable horror inflicted in New York and Washington by Moslem terrorists. Over 6,000 people, many in the prime of life, remain dead and buried under hundreds of tons of rubble. But their pain is over. Their loved ones are the sufferers now, and it is to these that we have all turned in sympathy, and in prayer. It must be added that in terms of the loss of human life, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and other natural phenomena have taken an even greater toll during history, but in respect of the happenings of 11th September 2001, the real horror came from the realisation that Militant Islam, a human agency, was responsible. As it says in Proverbs 8:36, “Those who hate God love death.” Suicide bombers court death as their final “glory”, and are treated as heroes, based upon the words of Ayatollah Khomeini, “The purest joy in Islam is to kill and be killed for Allah.” Who then is the “Allah” of whom they speak?
The pain has not been without its positive outcome. We have heard from several quarters how the Spirit of God has been moving amongst the sufferers, leading them into a new avenue of life, one that in some cases has been the result of “God’s megaphone”, as Lewis suggested. An article we have received from Times Square Church, the home of David Wilkerson, shows how his flock have been able to minister to the bereaved. The church has been full to overflowing ever since the tragedy. Furthermore, D.W. was told by the Lord, a month before the tragedy, to store things in readiness for something, they knew not what, but having done so, they were in a position to help in a very positive capacity. A few days ago, a journalist working on the Financial Times in London was heard to say, “I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a Christian awakening in all this….”
It has been said again and again in the past, and is still true, that whatever Satan tries to do, God has the final glory, and the Serpent “bites the dust.”