It occurs to the most and the least of us in the flash of light; back we are in that presence of sheer madness, a frenetic embodiment of pain and torment; evil apparent, and that, like deer in headlights, to no quick escape.
We re-visit the hells of our pasts—and even those unknown to us in our futures—and we know a life that just plain isn’t. It’s an anti-life. The living death has a way of making us appreciate life; that sense of existence without the merest worry.
Whether we re-visit our hells for a moment, a season, or a lifetime is little matter for us—it’s basically no place for any decent-minded human being to venture.
What is this place?
Any time we exist without hope and we live a deplorable personal or relational reality we extend ourselves into the hellish unknown—the dystopia of rampant doubt or anti-faith. Belief such as this turns in on itself; the life ensnared, gasping for air, a moment before spiritual death threatens to take place.
And for journeying far and wide past the limitless widths, heights, depths and breadths of grace known in Jesus of Nazareth (Ephesians 3:18) there is scant reward but a lifeless, shrill and numb subsistence aside the knowledge of the presence of God.
HELL = WITHOUT GOD.
Heaven knows only too well the suffuse power of the devil; his adeptness and ability to trap the wanton opponent who is for the most part completely unaware of his forebodingly nasty spiritual presence. The evil one hates us but he loves us having a taste of his abysmal, de-spiritualised hell.
For us, it is fitting that we see this reality and that we train ourselves in how we’re trapped; and this, so we’re trapped less and less until no more.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.