Fighting is one surefire way to push God aside

Make no mistake about it: Fighting is bad. It doesn’t matter if the fight is a knockdown drag out or merely verbal. I have always felt a bit queasy when in the presence of those doing battle.

For the life of me, I have never understood those who turn on the TV, or worse yet pay good money, to watch two people beat the stuffing out of each other. I have never considered sparring, whether physical or verbal, a spectator sport. Further, I am wholly convinced that the verbal and the physical fights can be equally violent.

This was recently driven home to me when two people I know started to argue over something quite trivial. It was in a quiet and peaceful place, and that made the altercation that much the more unpleasant. At once, I began to get a knot in my stomach, which I could not alleviate by leaving as the melee had me hostage.

What was left to me was to pray for peace and ponder the sinking feeling that by now was overwhelming me. Sadness and fear were the two strongest emotions I felt; and as the battle waged on, and I continued to pray, I realized something very interesting.

That I was sad because two people I considered friends were fighting was at once evident. That I was afraid lest verbal sparring turned to actual combat was also an element, but it did not account for the actual dread these two emotions combined to create.

Sure, I was worried about these two people, myself, and anyone else luckless enough to stumble across the scene; and the shrill bickering certainly had my nerves on edge. But with all this action and emotion playing out in this small space, it suddenly occurred to me that something was missing. When it hit me I was terrified! The thing missing was God! He had not left. He had been pushed out. And the void was awful in the truest sense of the word.

I realized that in this combat zone (for that’s what it was) no room had been left for him. Anger, self-interest, brute animal force, and total misuse of free will were the only things for which there was room. I felt a total separation from him and the profound sense of loss was overwhelming.

Some theologians speculate that hell is a total separation from God for eternity. If this is so, the suffering must be unbelievably horrid. I had just a glimpse of it and that was enough for me. The term “Hell on earth” has new meaning for me.

With the argument over, I could actually feel the return of God to that space and peace was restored. The whole thing couldn’t have lasted a few minutes, but it seemed like hours.

I learned that day that when we fight, be it verbally or physically, we leave no room for God between us. Nature is God’s creation and nature abhors a vacuum. If we exclude God from our consciousness, something else must take this space. Believe me, that something is absolutely terrifying. RHL✠

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