Screwtape and Me: the opportune moment

My Merciful Father,

Another note the Fallen One and his demons let slip. I believe he has them riled up and furiously working to keep souls from realizing the ever so beautiful truth of the events unfolding this week. He knows the danger quiet and intentionality poses to his house. Our beloved people have possibly the least amount of distractions and matters pulling them from experiencing the Love of the resurrection than any time before. Your Son tells them how desperately He loves them, how deeply troubled He is in His desire for their hearts. Oh Father, let them hear this week. Let us drown out the lies and snares of the other side. Let them, as the prodigal son, see their opportune moment to come home this week, to be resurrected and risen. I will pass along the following to the Guardians.

Your faithful and humble servant,

Gabriel

My dear Wormwood,

Your vigor is inspiring young one but please do not do anything rash. This is an essential week for us all, and it does us no good if you and your fellow sprights go losing your heads. Yes, I know the Father has given you extra incentive to hustle and torment your patients. Yes, I know it bodes ill for you should your patient get a taste of that unspeakable event that shall not be named. However, understand how it normally relates to the humans. Death, for them, seems the most irreversible and unforeseeable of ends. Just that they see it as an end at all plays into our hands. We know the Enemy has regrettably changed the facts and made this false, but the humans remain terrified of it. They do not understand how death can be undone, as if this were the point at all. The treasure of the Resurrection…SCREEAACCCHHHHHHH. No! No! I mean the event that shall not be named! Let me start again. The treasure of the event that shall not be named is that the Enemy did it for them. He vanquished death, reducing it to a mere passage, dare I say even desirable passage, to His house. Though this was utter tragedy for us, our deceptions remain intact. You see, my dear nephew, even the desire to do the will of the Enemy and live the eternal life can be maimed. The enduring sentiment proves favorable to us still, that which the humans love most, can destroy them.

Your patient is proving this very theory. I know, I know, it is a shambles by your colleague responsible for the conversion of her brother. Let it be a forever reminder to you a human is never finished. The Enemy has unspeakable patience. His desire for the humans outlasts their centuries, ages of rejections. Why He would wait for them so, I cannot understand. The opportune moment is something He has employed time and time again on the humans, unfortunately finding more success than failure by this way. Your patient’s brother has been risen by this exact method. Alas, there is an advantage for us still, for you that is, in your patient. You see, don’t you, it is as we discussed previously. She has committed to listening for and following the Enemy’s will. It would seem she has been relatively stable and fruitful in doing so. She has tasted the eternal life I spoke of earlier. Now, however, her brother has returned. He, too, desires, genuinely, the life of the Enemy, he wants to come home to Him. “Oh good!” She thinks to herself. “Finally!” Her false gladness remains solely above her chest, eye level is all. The Enemy, of course, is nauseatingly overjoyed. His whole house erupts in song and praise, for one of their sons has been found again. Hush, hush Wormwood, stop panicking, I am getting to how this is good for us. Remember the toxin of the Prodigal brother. Ahh yes, now you understand. The Prodigal brother syndrome is namely, envy. How long and tirelessly, faithfully, your patient has labored for her Father’s house, the Enemy’s house. She has bore the yoke as He has called her to do, yet her very brother, who has squandered the good gifts and treasures of the Enemy, just now desires to accept the sonship and how he is lavishly celebrated. To her eyes, his welcome is greater than all the life and love she has had from the Enemy. Foolish, I grant you, but notice, my nephew, this is also something she has always had on her brother. She was the good one, the found one. He was the lost and rebellious one. How is it then, he just walks in the door and that’s enough to merit the praise of the heavenly hosts of the Enemy. This is exactly the posture you must work to keep her in. She has been here before, but it is so very much more bureaucratic when the person is a stranger. This is her brother and the truth is thrown in her face that this person she has claimed to love, encounters the utmost Love, the very aim of loving, and she struggles to find gladness in her heart. Envy is mutinous when it comes to siblings and friends; thus, the ones the humans love most, can effectually destroy them.

Your patient’s brother has indeed seized the opportune moment offered him by the Enemy, but do not miss the opportune moment to be had for our side. Severing the transfer from head to heart has always been one of our greatest assets, in addition to feeding the very profitable beast of envy. Head knowledge of joy and redemption does not threaten us my dear one. It is the swelling of that in the chest that sinks us. Your task is to keep her joy intellectual and her love tepid. As for the tasks of your equals to quell the acceptance of opportune moments from the Enemy this week, for all our sakes, I bid them tenacity, for I fear the worst. Do not tell the Father this.

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwtape

The confession of a wretched and lowly laborer:

Woe is me, Lord, my own brother! This I have prayed for, labored for, hoped for, for so long. Did I not buy him his own Bible? Was I not an attractive example of the eternal life? Did I not burb loudly after drinking the living water?

Yet, my heart is envious. I feel slighted. His excitement and energy in being found is repelling to me as the same ends of a magnet. The overflowing of life within him is a claustrophobia around me. How can this be? Is this not what I wanted? I love him, don’t I?

Woe is me, Lord, I am the Prodigal brother. I am bitter at his welcome back. I speak of the opportune moment, implore others to seize it this Holy Week, but I am made jealous by it myself.

“If you were waiting for the opportune moment, that was it,” Jack tells Will in the Pirates of the Caribbean after he lets the chance go to tell Elizabeth he loves her.

If you have been waiting for the opportune moment to seek God and let yourself be loved, this is it. This Holy Week is it. True, God is abundantly and jealously available every day, flinging stunning sunrises and still sunsets across the sky. True, He desires our hearts and devotions every moment of our lives. Seemingly, all moments could be deemed the opportune moment. However, it is not every day or every moment we, ourselves, have a heightened awareness of His presence or His desire for us. Not only does the volume of suffering leave a ringing in our ears but even more so the sweet melody of the Resurrection. How timely it is to hear it.

My brother Adam has truly heard it and seized it. His transformation is beautiful and though my weakness and fleshliness are ugly, yet not surprising, there is beauty to be found in transparency. Something only Light can do. Behold, the wisdom of the Lord elevates the most base things within us. Behold, the goodness of the Lord is able to make good and lovely everything inside of us, the lost sinners we are. Behold, the Lord rises and makes all things new.

If you have been waiting to tell Him you love Him, behold, the Resurrection is coming, the opportune moment.

Woefully and joyfully,

Lauren

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