April 30, 2008

Who Knows What Evil Lurks? 
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
Ephesians 5:8-14, NIV

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"

Remember that line from the popular, late 1930s' radio-drama series called "Detective Story Hour"? 

I was actually not even a twinkle in my parents' eyes at that point in time. In fact, they weren't even born yet. But it apparently, this series was a big deal back in the day when radio was a more popular entertainment medium. 

Over the years, there were comic books, TV shows, movies and the like that were all a part of this phenomenon. But I only heard about "The Shadow" this year during a dinner conversation with a dear friend whose father owned a radio station when she was a young child. She had fond memories of listening to this program each weekend and even reenacted the melodramatic "Who knows what evil lurks..." opener for me. 

The series, based on material from Detective Story Magazine, focused on the main character known as The Shadow. From what I can tell, he was a Robin Hood of sorts, bending the rules and doing what he thought he needed to do so that societal wrongs could be righted and so forth. 

At the online, "free encyclopedia" known as Wikipedia (I know it may not be über-reliable, but you get what you don't pay for, right?), we learn this about "The Shadow" ...

"Clad in black, The Shadow operated predominantly after dark, burglarizing in the name of justice, and terrifying criminals into vulnerability before he or someone else gunned them down. The character was a noirish anti-hero in every sense. ..."

So, it seems that The Shadow concealed himself while trying to reveal what was lurking in the darkness. And that would be "evil." Or as Mike Myers' character says in 1993's So I Married an Axe Murderer: "Really evil. Like so evil, that you would say it was E-VEEL, like it's the FRU-ETS of the DEV-EEL."

Well, fast forward to the 21st century to earlier this year when I was sitting in my Bible study group. We were studying the book of Ephesians and discussing darkness and light. 

  • What are the characteristics of each?  
  • Why is evil characterized as "darkness"? 
  • Why is Jesus referred to as "light" 
  • Why are we the "children of light"?  
  • How has the light of Christ made a difference in our lives?

Instead of a quasi-villainous "Shadow," as believers we have a perfect "Iluminator" who is righteous and fighting evil on our behalf. He is pure and true and shines the light, exposing the evil that lurks in our hearts. 

Thankfully, our Illuminator doesn't burglarize or terrify or gun down anyone. Instead, as a Father who dearly loves his children, he shows us our sin. And with his presence in our lives, we can live more abundantly-bearing fruit and shining his light to others.

Intersecting Faith & Life: Is it time to put on your spelunker's hat and shine a super-sized flashlight in the dark, cavernous regions of your heart? What areas could use the fruit of the light which is goodness, righteousness and truth?

Further Reading

Romans 5:8, NIV
The Difference Between Light and Darkness