When We See Evil, Look for God
Some evil is so bad, so atrocious, it catches us off guard and stops us in our tracks. Some types of evil, such as ransomware, shut down our internet, computers, and files, and literally stop us in our digital tracks. On Sunday, our church suffered from a ransomware attack. It shut down our internet, locked our computers and files, and demanded $10,000 to get them back. This is evil, not just because it is a pain in the rear to fix, but because of greed and theft. At the root of it, there are people choosing to harm businesses, cities, ISDs, nonprofits, and places of worship in order to make money. After a little research, I was surprised by how often this happens. It’s a modern-day form of evil that hadn’t really been on my radar.
Whenever I see evil, I look for God, because I believe God is always close by, working to redeem, heal, and repair. Over a month ago, Ed Barnes, our IT volunteer, decided to take this week off work. While working on church computers all week wasn’t what he had in mind for his vacation days, his availability this week has been crucial to our church becoming digitally operational again. His 27 years at Microsoft are a blessing as he rebuilds our computers and network. I’ve got to believe that the Holy Spirit was nudging him to request this time off over a month ago.
Similarly, two years ago, my daughter’s kindergarten teacher let us know about a new girl in the class who had just moved from South Africa. The family just happened to live on our street. The teacher helped connect us and since that time, our children have become friends, we’ve celebrated birthdays together, shared meals together, and been blessed by each other’s presence.
The father in this family just happens to work for a company that specializes in ransomware attacks. He has walked multinational, Fortune 500 companies through the attacks and through the recovery process. When we called him Sunday night, he spent several hours with us, walking us through each step. He then gave his time at our staff meeting on Monday and guided each anxious staff member through our plan.
This week, the staff all had to pause in our steps in the face of evil. It’s dominated way more of the week than I anticipated, but my neighbor and Ed have been working together to help our church get back up and running. In the midst of seeing evil, I’ve watched two men give of their time and their talents. I’m grateful for the ways God is working in their lives and the fact that they were willing to use their talents to serve the church. Whenever we see evil, we have the opportunity to use our time and talents to serve God and the church.