Screwtape Letters cover

 

The following letter is a play on the brilliant work of C.S. Lewis in his book, The Screwtape Letters — a collection of letters written by a chief demon, Screwtape, to his nephew and protege, Wormwood.  The idea was also inspired by a very thought-provoking post written by my friend, Bronwyn Lea, on the World Vision debate earlier this year.

 

 

My dear Wormwood,

I see from the news headlines recently that much of your work in generations past has caught the public eye and caused a bit of a ruckus.  You really should have kept it under wraps, but I’ll excuse your negligence just this once.  I realize that sometimes, the Enemy allows for these things to happen to expose us and all of our labor in the hearts and minds of our patients.

Nevertheless, I commend you for the way you’ve worked hard in the midst of the situation at hand.

That headline that appeared on the CNN homepage, for example, was a brilliant tactic:

“More money raised for Ferguson officer than slain teen”

As long as you keep them thinking it’s a competition and choosing sides, you can kick back and relax for a while.

Don’t concern yourself with the ones who are using their platforms to preach the importance of unity and diversity.  Sure, they might get a handful of “Amens” in the comments section, but don’t fret — it’s only temporary.  In fact, go ahead and give your patient some slack in that regard.  It’s fine if he gets all riled up for a while.  Let him vent and huff and puff to the masses.  He is a highly emotional being, but his whims change with the wind.  Next month he’ll have a new hobby horse and will forget all about the words he so passionately penned with great spiritual fervor.

Your greatest offensive strategy will be to make him think he understands.  Better yet, get him to believe he’s making a difference with his words from the climbing statistics on his site and the comments on his writing.  Just don’t let it go beyond the computer screen.  As long as his heart and lifestyle don’t change, his lip service is no threat to our plan.  He’ll make a concerted effort here and there and maybe even have a conversation or two that he wouldn’t have had before, but this too shall pass.

Whatever you do, don’t allow the differing factions to actually get to know one another.  Make every effort to keep them out of each other’s homes and churches.  You must never allow them to realize the strength they could possess if united.  Once they actually become genuine friends, the Enemy has won.

Oh, and one more thing: Keep distracting your patient with the pleasures of this life.  Let him continue living for himself, as is quite easy for you to do, given his nature.  As long as his focus is on the here and now, he’ll forget that there is life to come, and won’t care about who else will be there with him.

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwtape

 

 

Related post: I’m a white girl from Michigan, and I’m #goingthere

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22 thoughts on “a screwtape letter on racial diversity

  1. I keep thinking, “It would be great if we could get the black community in Ferguson to sit down at the table with law enforcement officers. It would be messy, that’s for sure. But, what if we called a truce for a few hours and sat down with each other to hear one another’s stories? What if we saw each other as people and not simply sides of a disagreement? What if we could sit at the table and apologize and forgive without any threat of repercussions or exploitation or lies?” Then I say, to myself, “That’s never gonna happen.” And I get ready to throw in the towel and wave the flag of surrender, but just before I do, a Tweet shows up in my feed, leading me to words like these, and I have hope again…

    • “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)

      Praying that He would not only keep that flicker of hope alive, but fan it into flame and cause the whole forest to burn with a holy fire.

      Keep pressing on, in His strength. One day, every tribe and tongue *will* be sitting at the same table, to the glory of God.

  2. I echo every other comment here. Your words are defining and convicting and hopeful. All of which I need more of in my life. Definition. Conviction. Hope. Thank you friend, your light is shining ever brighter in the darkness. Don’t let the enemy snuff it out, because I have no doubt He is offended greatly. Keep on keeping on. We need you and your words more than ever.

  3. I read this book for a class in school and its stayed with me ever since. I think that what you’ve done here is totally convicting and done in a way that everyone can see into the truth of how fickle our hearts are and how this conversation needs to be a life time of things and not just whatever moment sways us. thank you for this brilliant writing Kate

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