Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Satanic Inspiration of Annoyance


For several months my spiritual focus has been on the love of God. To know the love of God, and to love others with the same love.

I am stunned by the love of Jesus who, hanging on the cross, still exhibited a heart of love towards his crucifiers. Here is one reason why the "WWJD?" bracelets don't work. They minimize, and even trivialize, the Real Jesus. Jesus loved his enemies! He didn't wear a bracelet saying "WWID?" ("What Would I Do?") The heart of Jesus was love. My heart is not. I see this clearly since I get irritated and annoyed with people who are not my enemies. One wonders what I might do when I actually encounter someone who is out to bring me down.

C.S. Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters, addresses this issue in terms of the marital relationship. Here the demon Screwtape gives advice to a subordinate demon on how to push the evil-button on a Jesus-follower:

"When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrown which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy - if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbability of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed."