Sounding Silly

Nowadays, the accusation you have sinned is often said with a grin, and with a tone that signals an inside joke. [Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Not the Way It's Supposed to Be.

He's not the only one to think that a major tactic of Satan is making serious things look silly.

The fact that 'devils' are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you. [CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters]

The door opened into the lit hallway and she looked at me, eyes with so much depth that I always think first of them as golden and only remember afterwards that they're brown. What do you want?

And I almost didn't answer that, because my answer sounded... silly. Although I knew it was not, and I knew that she knew that it was not... but it sounded... canned. To seek God's face.

Or another time, looping around campus, an honest question fell into the silence, soundwaves disturbing the cool night air. So what is your problem?


That shouldn't sound silly, shouldn't feel silly to say.

And it is in small part the same pride that tells me such a thing is too silly to say, argues silently that there is no cause to even say it. Pride is everyone's problem, it whispers, not just mine.

But that's not my concern.

Here's what is.

Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly with your God. [The Micah Mandate -- Micah 6:8]

So I can sing-pray, with something far better than silliness, with a high and holy joyous confidence:

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.

Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

[Psalm 27]


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