Thursday, November 04, 2010

Lessons from a Dead Squirrel

Sunday morning, we noticed that there was the foul stench of death as we entered the church building, albeit very, very faint.  I used some Febreeze and it seemed to cover it up pretty good.  Since the weather was nice, we kept the lobby door open.  Even by the evening service, it wasn't bad.

Tuesday was a whole other story.  There was no getting around it; we had a dead animal somewhere in the attic of the foyer.

I honestly figured someone would do something about it, but no one did.

By the time Wednesday evening came around, the odor was nearly unbearable.  One woman held her nose; one man had the dry heaves.

Our normal Wednesday evening service is in the fellowship hall, which is just off the foyer.  I suggested that we move to the sanctuary, where we were safe from the smell.

We've been studying Philippians and were up to chapter 2 verses 14-18.  So many people camp out on verse 14, "do all things without grumbling or disputing", but verse 15 is what we took a longer look at:

...prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

As we were discussing about being "lights in the world", someone mentioned that "lights don't appear to shine as bright in the light, but when you bring light into the darkness, that's when it really shows up!"

We all thought that insight was profound.  We talked about how we, as believers, instead of shining bright, often "turn off" our lights so we don't stand out.  We talked about how those who are in the darkness, never want to return to the dark, but once we are in the light, we seem to miss the darkness and want to go back there.

I mentioned that as crazy as that sounds, it is even worse.  As the light represents life, the dark represents death.

We talked about how a dead animal, probably a squirrel, which is quite small, moved a group of human adults away from its decaying body.  We talked about how small it was, but how it influenced all of us that night.  We talked about how if we could smell sin, it would smell so much worse than the dead animal.  We were repulsed by the stench of death, but we embrace our favorite sin as "not so bad."

Something else that I thought about while typing this is the fact that we used candles and air fresheners to cover up the stench, it wasn't until we actually removed the dead squirrel from the ceiling that the smell went away.  No matter how we try to hide our sin, cover it up, or ignore it, it doesn't go away until it is completely removed.  And only Jesus can do that.

Oh that we could actually smell sin!  How we would be repulsed by it!  How we would flee from it!  How we would do anything to avoid it!

Are YOU being light in the darkness?  Does YOUR light shine?  Are YOU trying to hide, cover-up or ignore your sin? 

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