It is so tempting, when we witness what seems like pure evil, to point fingers, cast judgment and draw a sharp distinction between the darkness we see in others with the light we believe constantly emanates from our own souls.

In times of war when good and evil appear glaringly obvious we are presented with an opportunity for soul-searching.

This is #6 on my list of Top Ten things to do when the world is at war - Acknowledge your own darkness.

It was the great Russian novelist, historian, and dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who wrote,

“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts."

(Solzhenitsyn - The Gulag Archipelago)

This concept is a good one to hold close to one's own divided heart, especially in moments when good and evil appear easy to name.

Think of the divisions in our own country right now - White/Black, Democrat/Republican, Urban/Rural, Conservative/Liberal, Atheist/Believer.

There is a force at work - we love to claim it comes from outside of ourselves, don't we - that pushes us to view "our side" as good and "their side" as bad. This dividing of people groups is the spark that can set ablaze a raging inferno of anger and violence and even war.

And this force runs right down the very center of every human heart.

We are all capable of war, if pushed.

All of us.

The line between good and evil runs right through every human heart.

Your heart.

And mine.

Take a moment today to acknowledge your own darkness.

If more of us did this perhaps wars might one day cease.