As a child, I delighted in playing with my grandmother’s stereoscope (a vintage Viewmaster of sorts). I’d place the sepia-colored, double-image cards on the holder, adjust the viewer and stare transfixed as the two photos morphed into a three-dimensional image that floated before my eyes.
Lately, I feel as though I’m seeing things through that old viewer again. Only instead of double-imaged paper pictures, I’m seeing opposing views of life. Simultaneously, I see good and evil, beauty and ugliness, the One who gives life and the one who destroys it.
One scene in particular has lodged itself in my mind this week. A woman told me about the time she watched a family emerge from their car for a day at the beach. The mother and young daughters, fully covered, gathered their billowing garbs as they made their way through the sand to the shore. A little boy and his father followed, each sporting a skimpy Speedo.
The males, unencumbered and undaunted by the revelation a wet Speedo delivers, frolicked in the water. The girls splashed about, enjoying, as best they could, the water that weighed down their garments like soggy diapers.
This image, however innocuous, reminds me of the oppressive evil that plays out all over the world today. A simple news search reveals story after story of women who are killed each year in “honor killings, who live with faces seared by acid-throwing men, who are lashed and beaten after having been raped. Young girls daily suffer atrocities under groups like the Taliban that we wouldn’t want our children to know even exist.
Meanwhile, we, in our tolerant, free thinking, liberal disillusionment, open our doors to the very ones who want to destroy us. Why not allow them to establish their Sharia law in our land? We are generous in our tolerance. The tragic irony is that what we call freedom is actually enslavement.
And as we stumble over ourselves to permit their Prophet, we forbid our God to be mentioned in public places. We welcome the one whose ways allow beating, maiming, and killing females, yet ban the One who came to set the captives free. We let the deceitfulness of self-righteousness blind us to the One came to give life.
The images through my viewmaster are becoming clearer, more three-dimensional. The time is drawing near. There are two sides. There is one battle.
And there is one Victor.
“ . . . today I have set before you life and death. . . So choose life that you may live, you and your descendants after you.”—Deuteronomy 30:19