It’s not I, but my hero and champion of words, J.R.R. Tolkien who gave the concept to me. Despair is not so much a state of emotion, a theological conundrum, as it is a mistake, for who can see all ends?
Despair is the absence of hope, the annihilation of peace, located at the center of chaos. It is a primary weapon of our enemy, employed to dismantle christians of our faith in a loving God and non-believers of their trust in the goodness of humanity. It's a weapon in which the enemy measures success by death. I’ve known several wonderful people who have been ravaged by despair and sadly, some who have taken their life because of it.
Recognizing how this weapon is used is our first means of defense against it. We have power in the name of Jesus Christ in rebuking satan, power in prayer and fasting, in confession, reading His Word and the strength of the believing community, the church militant & triumphant. These are our weapons to engage in this spiritual warfare. I understand there is a place for helpful medication, for counseling, but very often the medical community overlooks the needs of the spirit.
I read the story of Tyler Clementi today, the New Jersey college student who took his life because of the despair he must have felt when his privacy was broadcast to anonymous millions via the internet. The weight of such humiliation too great to bear. I hope the student(s) responsible for this despicable plot receive the maximum penalty under the law, for they obviously have no idea what human dignity is.
In the AP article, referring to Rutgers University, known for ruthless behavior in other areas said this:
“...students, faculty and other employees have been encouraged to attend a series of lectures, presentations and discussions on civility, exploring such topics as how cell phones, iPods and other gadgets affect civility, and sportsmanship for athletes and fans.”
Presentations on civility. Did you catch that?!
This brings me round to my next point --I didn’t have to read far to learn that the Gay Rights Advocates have called this a “hate crime” and will, no doubt, use this as a call to action, to further their agenda. Wait a minute... “hate crime” ? do you have to belong to a special group to use this term? What about.. oh, I don’t know...
a crime against humanity?
Can we call a spade a spade and agree that destroying a person’s mind & spirit by invading their privacy and humiliating them in front of the world is an act of a person without conscience? No mercy and no conscience...
...it’s an indicator crime that affects us all as human beings created by God, no matter our feelings about homosexuality. It's an assault on human dignity, an evidence of barbarians in our "civilized" modern age.
Lord, have mercy, to make straight our crooked lines.
*Painting is "The Scream", by Edvard Munch