Hands Off!

By Cindy Koch

No one likes to talk about it. I guess we risk sounding a little crazy or paranoid. The whispers in the shadows, the taunting voices heard only in our heads; but by now, we have learned to ignore the queasy prickles when he is near. Hidden in the chaos of our ordinary life, this powerful enemy fights to remain invisible. His strength is confusion. His weapon is doubt. His gift is shame. But his steps are silent, and we are never quite sure where he will show up next.

By the time we see him, it might be too late. He sings a sweet song of a slow death. But those who are on his path can’t even see it. He has blinded hearts and minds with his lies and deceit. And we might never turn around to see that he is plotting our next step. Before long, the darkness is all we will know.

But, Satan, I see you.

Satan, get your claws out of my friends! They are overwhelmed with the vanities of this world. You have spoken false values and imaginary victories into their ears. They are listening to your call to be more beautiful, more social, smarter, faster, stronger, richer. You have tempted them to prioritize their time outside of the Word of God. Even though they serve their family, they work for their neighbor, they rest from their labors; here you have wrung out every last bit of their energy. There is no time left to be held up by the life-giving Word. That’s exactly how you want it.

Satan, get your hands off my children! You have trained them to hate the quiet. The calm and sure Word of Christ looks boring and useless by your evil work. They wiggle and fight and scream against a restful comfort spoken into their ears. I know it’s you that pushes parents to endlessly entertain their eyes. You laugh in triumph when these children lead their mothers and fathers around in circles, searching for programs, experiences, and churches that will fill their busy hands. You are secretly scattering our children all over the land to be taught another more exciting “gospel”, really any other “gospel” – outside of the simple work of Christ alone. It’s been your plan all along.

Satan, release your grip from my throat! You are squeezing so tightly that I sometimes forget where I am. I look around and imagine that this world is good enough. I know you are the evil clutch that wrenches my eyes away into blank apathy. I know you are the deadly whisper that repeats, they will never listen to you… who are you to talk… it’s not worth it… I know that your cold bony fingers close my eyelids when I begin to see a hint of you hanging from my neck. Your hands choke and pull just enough, so that I think I’m still freely breathing. You have me right where you want me.

It’s over, Satan. I see you today. You can’t hide your evil works and ways right now. You have been crushed by our Risen Savior! Christ lives forever, and we will too. As for my friends, my children, my own eyes – you have no power to steal away our life. We are baptized. You are dead. Hands off!