Heart of Darkness; Hearts of Light

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has many interpretations, but one focuses on the depravity that lurks in the human heart—darkness. In John 3:19-20, Jesus equates that darkness as evil that the light Christ brought into the world exposes. He also indicates in Matthew 9:4 that evil resides in hearts.

We witness today great evil working from the heart of one man, Vladimir Putin. He pours out that evil on the people of Ukraine, and Russians also. No Ukrainians want this war and few of the Russians fighting there do either. They are all victims of the evil of Vladimir Putin. Even Russian civilians are beginning to suffer the deaths of those they love and deprivation from the economic consequences.

We can be overwhelmed by evil, and even more so when it rises from the heart of one man. If you have ever peered into a pitch-black room, you know the darkness paralyzes us. The darkness of evil can affect us similarly. Our minds and hearts cannot absorb it. We watch horrified. Evil runs rampant as we watch.

Martin Luther King reminds us, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.” Paul makes clear in Ephesians 6 that we who follow Christ are the light to drive out the darkness. He specifically emphasizes that we must wrestle “against the rulers of darkness of this age.” Ephesians 6:12.

Vladimir Putin certainly is such a ruler. We are not called to be paralyzed by the darkness of his evil. We are called to wrestle with him. We may not be able to go to Ukraine and fight, but each of us can act nonetheless. All can pray that Christ will confront his evil and turn his heart. We can contribute to efforts to relieve the suffering in Ukraine. We can write to our leaders to support Ukraine in whatever way we can short of becoming directly involved in the fighting. As the father of a child currently serving in the military, I do not want to see any of our children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, committed to fight. We cannot allow, however, the darkness of Vladimir Putin to intimidate us into inaction short of that.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14. Shine your light toward Ukraine. Each of our individual lights may not cast out Putin’s darkness, but even the smallest light penetrates darkness. If one evil heart can cause such devastation, think about the power of millions of hearts shining with the light of Christ. Be hearts of light to cast out the darkness.


  1. ropheka on March 23, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    Ukraine and the U.S.A. are more responable for this mess than Russia.
    They promised Russia they would not have bio, chemical nor nuclear weapons manufaturing in Ukraine then put those plants there.
    What do you think the U.S.A. would do if Mexico allowed those plants for Russia in their country? It would not take long for the bombs to falls. I remember that in the Cuba crisis.
    NATO and Ukraine promised to keep Ukraine out of NATO and then began talking about them joining.
    Again what do you think the U.S.A. would do if Mexico wanted to join a Russia- China alliance? It would not take long for the bombs to falls.

    • Tom Trezise on March 23, 2022 at 2:27 pm

      I have approved your comment, although I believe it to be not really a comment on my post and factually inaccurate. My post goes to the Christian response to evil, and particularly the evil of Vladimir Putin. If you think what he is doing is not evil, that would be an appropriate response. I note that your blog focuses on coming closer to Christ and mentions that the love of Christ casts out darkness. So if you believe I am scripturally inaccurate, I would welcome that correction. It seems, however, you have chosen a political response to a spiritual issue.

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Welcome, I'm Tom

I'm Tom Trezise a retired lawyer and corporate executive with over twenty years of experience as a Methodist lay preacher. Raised in Appalachia, I proudly call myself a hillbilly at heart. I'm the executive director of The Everyday Kingdom, a non-profit devoted to fostering a community that helps people find and experience the peace, purpose, and joy available from living every day in Christ’s kingdom.

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