by George Wadleigh, CS
Sir Winston Churchill “You cannot tell from appearances how things shall go…. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” (Speech, 1941, Harrow School). Church gave this speech just a few months after the Blitz had ended. The Blitz left 40,000 Britons dead and 1 million homes in London destroyed or damaged. When we lived in England in 1963-4, you could still see remnants of the war. London endured 57 straight nights of bombing, but the Britons did not yield to the intimidation of that terrible onslaught.
“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” The Spirit gave the British people courage to withstand the Blitz that sought to intimidate them into surrender. “The bombing failed to demoralise the British into surrender or significantly damage the war economy.” (Wikipedia)
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” The filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock used shadow to great effect as he realized that the shadow of a criminal instrument could be more terrifying than filming the instrument itself. Just so we are often intimidated by the believed reputation of a perceived danger, by the shadow or appearance more so than by the actual substance of a thing.
Christian Scientists are sometimes mocked for their claim that evil is a “claim,” a “belief,” in a way a phantasm. There are other great thinkers, Churchill, Isaiah, the Psalmist possibly David, whose words somewhat parallel the view of the Christian Scientists that evil is not now or ever has been what it has been reputed to be, what it’s been cracked up to be. It is the chutzpah, the hubris, the bald presumption of the liar that is used to intimidate the children of the Infinite. “The apparently overwhelming might.” “like a flood,” “the valley of the shadow of death.” Jesus pointed out that the liar was the father of itself. Truth is our steady defense and foundation against an accredited lie and liar.
George Wadleigh, CS