Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Is The Devil Laughing?

By Brenda Hopf
Brenda Hopf


One evening as my husband and I left a friend’s house, he informed us that he had taken care of a problem he had earlier asked us to look into when we had time. The motion sensor light on his detached garage, which lights the way to his front porch, had not been working, making his trek to the house unsafe. Surprised that he had been able to care of the problem before we had a chance to check it out, I inquired with a bit of skepticism, “So what was wrong with the light?” Smiling, he replied, “Don’t laugh, but, the switch was not turned on.” Unable to honor his request, I burst out laughing.

Still laughing, I got into our vehicle and picked up my bible study workbook from the seat. (The bible study I am participating in is on the sacraments.) As I picked up the workbook, I recalled a discussion in class about the gift of grace we receive from reception of the sacraments; grace that lights the way, giving us courage and strength to live as disciples of Jesus.

In class we had talked about the fact that in order for grace to help us we have to cooperate; we have to allow the grace to flow through us, much like the electricity flows through the wiring to a light when the switch is flipped on. The light cannot shine because it is disconnected from its power source. The same can be said of our call to discipleship as followers of Jesus. If we fail to cooperate in allowing God’s saving grace, our super-natural power source, to flow through us, it will be impossible to do the job God has called us to do.

On Sept. 29, I attended the “Entrusted” mission at Good Shepherd Parish in Evansville. I was blessed beyond measure to be in the presence of a man who has completely opened his heart to God’s gift of grace. As the featured speaker of the event, John Wood’s witness of faith blew me away. It was clear to me that this humble introvert was empowered by God’s supernatural gift of grace as he inspired me with the beautiful witness of his life’s work.

As the group took time for reflection during one of John’s talks, Rachel Ann Snyder sang “Your Grace is Enough” by Matt Maher.  As I listened to the first refrain, which says,  “For Your grace is enough, Yeah Your grace is enough, Yeah Your grace is enough, Yeah Your grace is enough for me,” I questioned whether I believe those words to be true. I discovered I have much work to do in opening myself to the power of God’s grace. I need to believe those words – God’s grace is enough for me.

While the story about our friend was amusing because he failed to do the obvious in allowing power to flow to the light, there is nothing humorous about me or you wasting the power source God so abundantly gives us – the super-natural power of grace, to live as disciples of Jesus.

The only one laughing about this tragedy is the devil, and there is no doubt he is laughing harder than I did at our friend. I don’t know about you, but the sight of the devil laughing at any of us should be enough to make us shudder.

Our friend was able to take care of his problem when he discovered and then utilized the obvious. I pray that you and I will do the same with God’s saving grace – using that power source to answer God’s call for our lives. It’s either that, or delight the devil so that he can laugh hysterically. We each have a choice to make. Let us pray for one another so that we make the right choice, choosing the obvious.

In the words of Saint Paul: “In our work together with God, then, we beg you who have received God’s grace not to let it be wasted” (2 Corinthians, 6:10).  

Brenda Hopf is a member of Divine Mercy Parish in Dubois County and also contributes to the “Sharing the Load” column in The Message.