Many diseases are silent killers. I want to open by speaking of a silent killer that is not so silent; and one that you will not find in the medical list under that title. It is a silent killer, except for those that suffer from it, or are victimised by it, and there are many in society that are.
Our son married an attractive Polish girl. She had a daughter that was six-years-old when she entered our family and life. I first met her and her mother when the family came to visit me in hospital. I was recovering from a nephrectomy and cancer.
Without going into great depth, we took both mother and daughter into our hearts, and gave them all that we could in love, financial support, physical and emotional support. As time went on, the mother entered into various extra-marital affairs, and eventually broke up the marriage to live with another man. That was three years ago. She has since made vile, false, accusations against our son, and more recently against the rest of our family too. Where we once appeared to be loved, we are now reviled. The mother’s personality, and behaviour, is that of a sociopath, though to my knowledge, she has not been professionally diagnosed as such. The sociopath will always accuse you of doing the very thing that they are guilty of themselves. They do this to deflect the attention from themselves.
Those two that had lived with us, eaten and holidayed together with us over the years, turned against us with a venom unbelievable. To most, they appear polite, friendly, and caring individuals; what they actually are and do is unseen. The strain of the last few years has caused my son to suffer from depression, and almost killed my wife earlier this year. The GP said she was suffering from stress which in turn aggravated other, physical conditions she suffers from. She couldn’t eat; she was very weak and tired. She was preserved alive by prayer and Complan. She has recovered somewhat, but is still weak, and needs to sleep a lot. Meanwhile, the accusations continue. One Saturday recently, I was mowing the front lawn. Beneath the tree in the garden, I could see feet walking up the path. It was two police officers. “Can we just have a quick word?” one of the officers said; “it won’t take long.” I stopped the mower and we walked up to the front door together. “You know what it’s about, don’t you?” the officer said. “Yes”, I replied. We entered the house, and the officer continued to speak. Our step-granddaughter had reported to the police that she was concerned for the welfare of her step-brother. It was our grandson’s weekend to be here with his dad. Our step-granddaughter told the police that I am a violent man. The officer said he knew that wasn’t true, but they just had to see our grandson to report back that he is well. The officer said that the police were being used as a weapon against us, and that they were going to tell mother and daughter it had to stop. After a brief word with our grandson, the officers went on their way. The lies and false accusations continue in text form, to our son. That is a brief picture of how life for us has developed during these last three years. Different accusations made to different authorities, month in and month out. And of course, the ‘partner’ has added his lies, false accusations, and threats. Sadly, so far there is no shadow of turning in their vendetta against us.
My wife’s illness and distress has meant I’ve had to pick up the reins in caring, housework, garden, shopping, cooking, washing etc., leaving less time and energy for writing. I don’t mean to put out our “dirty washing” for all to see. It is more like sharing our burdens with one another (Galatians 6:2). My wife did manage to speak at a meeting last week, though her voice was somewhat frail. We pray for health and strength for both of us to work and serve the Lord and His Church. Perhaps some of you will be moved to remember us in your prayers. Please pray for our grandson; he has much to endure in all of this. He will be ten-years-old in August.
Joseph endured the lies and schemes of Potiphar’s wife In Genesis 39:7-23. He left his garment in her hand because she had virtually torn it from his back. She used it as false evidence in her accusation against him, implying that he deliberately disrobed before attempting to rape her, and that “he left his garment by me.” Verse 16 says, “And she laid out his garment by her until his master returned to his house.” Joseph was set-up good and proper! No doubt the tongues wagged as Joseph was robbed of his reputation. A woman scorned led to innocent Joseph being locked away in the prison-house, the place where the king’s prisoners were held (v20). Doing the right thing doesn’t mean that we will not suffer at the hands of the unjust. The earth is not a rose garden…it is full of thorns and thistles. Some of those thorns found their way to the Saviour’s head.
Out attitude towards God affects our attitude towards our fellow man
To me, this has spoken of how the Church will develop in the Last Days, when the love of most will grow cold (Matthew 24:12-13). Some that you have lived in close fellowship with will turn against you. People you loved and supported will despise and reject you. They will lie, and make all manner of false accusations against you; all without reason. Society and church are heading in that direction.
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook gives another take on the soul of man as he wrote:
There is an evil inclination hidden deep in the depths of the soul, a bone-rotting envy that drenches any hint of light in a dismal darkness. It is an unfamiliar envy – many will never know it, for different factors prevent it from being expressed. But it sleeps – it is dormant in the recesses of the mortal soul, and it sometimes flares out in forms other than its real form, as all products of envy do; they don alien guise and always bear a foreign name. This unfamiliar envy is envy of God; humanity envies God for His infinite joy, His absolute perfection. This envy distorts reason and plunges sense into darkness, dulls intellect and riles the spirit. And when its fury can no longer be contained, it results in utter heresy, in order to relieve the aching, decaying spirit of the piercing sting of envy. There is no cure for this ailment, besides divine illumination.
The rabbi appears to give a covert reference to Nietzsche when he speaks in effect of “envy that leads to heresy.”
A whole lot of hiding going on!
Accusations began in Eden when the first humans took their eye off the ball, or more precisely, obeyed a voice other than God’s voice. The truth will out, and when challenged by God, Adam tried to hide behind Eve, and Eve tried to hide behind the serpent. They both used the trees that God had given them for food, as groundcover to hide from the Lord; and they both hid behind sewed-up fig leaves. They hid behind their words as they accused one another. But in the end, there was no hiding place. The Lord God banished him (Genesis 3:23) from the Garden that the Lord had put the man in, to work it and to take care of it. Now he was sent out to work the ground in the wider world, where there grew thorns and thistles, and where his work would be one of painful toil. “With pangs you shall eat” uses the Hebrew word ‘itsavon, and is the same word used for the woman’s birth pangs. Painful labour would be shared by man and woman in life outside the Garden.
We cannot imagine the dreadful, fearful changes that took place at this time in Genesis. It was in a sense, an end of an age, and a new age dawned; a terrible new age but for the promise in Genesis 3:15. There were those earth-shattering words from God’s own lips – “Dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Man has forfeited his eternal potential, when a mere thing shaped out of clay aspired to be like a god. That is still happening in our world today! Humans still aspire to be as gods, and humans that have this aspiration will be removed from God’s earth and world in the age to come. They will have no place in God’s presence. This is even more terrifying than the Fall, because at the right time, God provided a Saviour. What awaits those that want to be as god and lord of their own lives, is the Judgment followed by the second death.
I don’t imagine Satan’s temptation of Isha was harsh and challenging (Genesis 3:1-6). His tone would be more like seductive music reaching into the depths of the soul, enticing the eye, seducing the mind to disobey God. Whenever we go into sin, we are in effect saying, there is no God but me! Those that understand music know what a powerful medium it is to reach and affect the emotions, and to lower restraints of reason and the mind, as well as to lower the drawbridge of the will – Weakening the will to resist and to give way to temptation. One moment you are relaxing eating fruit in the Garden, the next moment sin claims its wages, and you experience death.
I want, in my next article, to write more from Genesis; to disengage my mind from the legal and temporal things of the past months, and to be Mind Full of the eternal Word of God. God willing, we will look at the closure to humans of the entrance to the Garden of Eden; Adam and Eve’s journey East of Eden, and if there is time and space, we will consider aspects of the life and death issue of Cain and Abel.
Blessings and shalom,