Summary: Some of us choose darkness, like moles burrowing into the ground. Our behavior becomes obsessively demonic, for which there are consequences. The Gospel calls us to be what God has made us to be, creatures living in the light, with passion.

Well, now, are you a mole or a soul? I want you to identify yourself, clearly and unequivocally, are you a mole or a soul?

I suppose that does require a bit of explanation. A mole is a little creature that lives out its life underground, in the darkness, endlessly burrowing to and fro and making humps in my yard. A mole is a creature that loves the darkness.

But a soul, that’s quite different. A soul is that aspect of a human being that makes us authentically human. A soul is that attribute – and I do not want to say “part”, because it is not a biological appendage somewhere in the body – a soul is that attribute that feels and loves and hates and sings and creates and dances and swears and – you get the picture. Souls have passion and power and potential. Souls love the daylight. Souls love their freedom.

So now, which is it? Are you a mole or a soul? The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it? But maybe not. Maybe we whom God intended to be souls have instead become moles.

Jesus spoke of those who love darkness rather than light. He suggested that many of us choose darkness, burrowing in, rather than light and freedom. Jesus suggested that some have become moles rather than souls.


And, what is more, Jesus even offers an analysis of why this is so.

And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.

We love darkness rather than light because our deeds are evil. Let’s think about this “evil” business. Do we love darkness? Are we doing evil deeds? What is that all about? Let me paint a picture.

I know a person, well educated, professional, having had advantages along the way, including spiritual nurture in a solid church and in a deeply religious family. She has every reason to live with joy. But she does not. Instead she lives in misery. This woman gets into conflicts wherever she goes. Her employer – so much so that they released her, and she’s been in litigation for years. Her marriage – conflicted, finally a divorce, though she pines for every scrap of news about her ex-husband and his new family and cannot let go. Her health – compromised, overweight, hardly even mobile, a heavy smoker. Her family – she did not speak to her sister for more than twenty years. Her home – literally like a mole-burrow, in that she keeps every paper, every scrap that comes in, and therefore walks gingerly through the paths, trying not to step on something that might be valuable but probably isn’t. Her spirituality – nostalgic, not having been a part of her home church for years, but still sending contributions out of an inheritance. Sometimes, if the pastor near where she lives invites her and pushes a bit, she will worship there, but not often. Her relationships – she chose to take into her home and into her intimacy a homeless man of dubious reputation, and that did not work out either. Would you agree with me that she is a mole and not really a soul? She lives in disarray and has chosen to shut herself off from fulfillment. She loves darkness rather than light because her deeds are evil.

And if you say that evil is too strong a word, that evil refers to cruelty and vicious schemes and horrific atrocities, then I have to say that sometimes evil masquerades as banality. Sometimes evil looks like sheer boredom. Sometimes evil is just ordinariness, wasting what God has given us. Loving darkness rather than light because our deeds are evil.

Ah, but you think my portrait sounds extreme. You think, “That’s not me. I don’t live that way.” All right, but let’s not be too sure yet that we are not moles. Let’s not be so certain that we have not loved darkness rather than light.

A man burrows into his job, day after day, night after night, doing nothing but work, work, work. Is it about being overloaded? Probably not. Is it about trying to impress the supervisor? Not really. Is it about investing in something that is beneficial to others? Unlikely. When someone becomes a workaholic and can think of nothing but work, work, and more work, then he is living like a mole, shutting out the light, relinquishing his freedom, all in response to a deep down something that says, “You’re not good enough. You have to be better. You have to earn your right to be somebody.” And the more we hear that insistent inner voice the more we discover that it is an evil thing. It is a voice that will destroy us eventually, that voice that says, “You’re no good. Work, work, work, mole, mole, mole.” That’s the way evil operates. I can give you personal testimony to that. It’s easy for workaholics to become moles and not souls!

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