Words of Hope: Armed and Resolute Wickedness
Dad and I loved March Madness—mainly because it was fun to coach and critique the teams. We were often negative spectators, so Shann had to put us in our place when we became too harsh or pessimistic. Dad would have a heyday with me bemoaning a college game with only 19 at the half. We often discussed how success promotes success but how mistakes snowball. I am listening to Winston Churchill speak about World War II. He is another historically controversial person full of oxymorons and enigmas. Wise and drunk. Loving to his wife and cruel at times to others. Like all of us, he is a difficult person to understand in the context of ultimate justice.
Dad and I loved the movie Our Darkest Hour. We loved Churchill’s bravery in the middle of such worldwide abject fear. He was an underdog in every sense of the word. How did the British evacuate so many men out of Dunkirk? How did England not become overrun like Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and more? Churchill wrote, “Virtuous motives trammeled by inertia and timidity, are no match for armed and resolute wickedness.” First, what a quote! The economy and power of the sentence are stunning. Second, what compelling wisdom. It reminds me that a naïve faith and even a tepid or laissez-faire belief system will be pummeled by evil. Dad would remind me when God told Cain, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? But if you do not do well, sin is crouching at your door, and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Armed and resolute wickedness exists, and evil is ready to pounce on us in our weakest moments of discouragement, failure, mistakes, fear, or reliance on our own strength and power. Churchill said our apathy towards life’s complexity and glutted self-righteousness are no match for evil. We are lulled to slumber while evil is arming to harm us.
Easy living can make our virtuous motives mere plateaus when difficulty comes. Dad would recommend that the best defense against evil is the armor of God and the sword of the Spirit. He would recommend if you have time to spare, pray and memorize scripture in a spirit of peace and gratitude. These, combined with brave action, are the best ways to navigate evil times.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” -Ephesians 6:13