Tag Archives: Easter

The Hunger Games meets Screwtape

Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear… looks ahead.”  Screwtape

The Hunger Games and Screwtape

Max McLean as C.S. Lewis' "Screwtape"

Recently I saw an amazing performance of the classic C.S. Lewis novel, The Screwtape Letters. The play, brilliantly performed by award winning actor Max McLean, follows the schemes and thinking of a demon named Screwtape. The story is based on a view of spiritual warfare from a Hell’s point of view as told to a Junior Devil.

So, a few days later as I sat in the movie theater watching The Hunger Games, I was thinking of the psychology of evil. More particularly, the lies and temptations wrought by the Evil One.  I couldn’t help but view President Snow as the Devil himself, a schemer.

The strategy of Screwtape and the artfully manipulative plans of President Snow seemed eerily similar. Much as Screwtape offered careful advice to his protégé, Wormwood, so too we see President Snow mentoring his henchman, Seneca. In a scene that was particularly “Screwtape-ish” we hear the genius of evil:

“…why do we have a winner?” President Snow asks Seneca.  Then Snow answers his own question, “Hope.”

Hope?” Seneca replies slightly bewildered.

Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous,” Snow declares.

Spark is fine, as long as it’s contained. So, contain it,” Snow warns.

I wanted to stand up during the movie and yell, “Did you hear that!”

I wanted to stop the movie and talk about hope and fear. Moreover, I wanted to yell at the Devil and say, “You can’t contain it!  You tried. You scattered the followers of Jesus Christ and watched them hide in fear on that dark Friday. You laughed when they brutally executed Him and put Him in a tomb. Ha! You thought you had contained Hope. You lose!” Continue reading The Hunger Games meets Screwtape

Simple Sabbath: All Things New

Several years ago I lived through a nightmare. A very close friend lost his thirteen year old son. He was a good kid, a little bit goofy, but a handsome young man who sparkled with innocence and energy.  The doctors did not save him; there was no option for an experimental drug or miracle treatment. In a terrible accident, this teenager died — a healthy boy who awakened that morning with his whole life ahead of him; a child lying in a funeral home that night.

It was horrible.

My friend and I sat on the back porch late into the evening.  I could feel the emptiness, the darkness of Dad’s soul. I’ve never felt more helpless; it was so final, and it felt so unfair, unnatural and wrong. I spoke at the funeral. I was angry. I was angry with the boy, I was angry with me . . . and I was angry toward God. Death was not welcomed, it was wretched. By faith I summoned words to convey a better life to come and how we would all see our young friend someday in heaven. The whole time I never once doubted that God is good, and that we can trust Him. But, I can still remember the anger. Continue reading Simple Sabbath: All Things New