In our home, you often hear my husband say, “Oh my goodness Maria you make a spiritual matter out of everything!” Alas, it’s true. That just seems to be how I ‘tick.’ But when I making a spiritual matter of something AND my husband agrees…well that’s when you know I’m onto something.
Good v. evil. Its epic rivalry is present everywhere. From movies to books, from real to imagination, somewhere underlying in each and every story is a battle of good v. evil. I think most of us would agree we see both good and evil at work in the world. We see what is going on in the world, we see the loss and deep hardships and we cannot ignore that evil exists. Problem is, too often for me, I forget it’s tinier existence in my day to day life.
I have a bad day, or week or month and terms like “eh, when it rains it pours” shake out of my mouth and I seem to dismiss any further significance. But this week I have not been able to ignore or dismiss and it has been abundantly obvious to me that we have an enemy. What God is to goodness, and healing, and peace, and love and comfort Satan is to evil, and lies, and trouble, and pain, and guilt. For now, I’ve been unable to ignore this truth.
Problem is, I think, that the enemy is pretty sneaky and he peeks in and out of our weeks planting seeds of lies and hatred and discomfort and he comes and goes without us ever knowing it is him.
How often do I hear people, in a moment of vulnerability, confessing how hard things are for them. That these days have been hard and they have been too full of guilt or shame to invite anyone into their battle. Afterall, surely they must be doing something wrong? Surely I am to blame for all that is happening. Surely this is all because I am a bad spouse, terrible mother, bad juggler, horrible friend…you fill in the lie.
If you know me, you know I hate poop. Hate it. As part of our marital agreement I am in charge of doctors visits and Dave is in charge of all things poop. It works for us. This week, in the midst of my wave after wave of trouble, I was turning off lights in the dining room and bam…it happened. I stepped barefoot and forcefully into a pile of poop our lovely dog left. There are no words to accurately display my utter and horrible disgust!! Literally! I am telling you, this floored me. No soap was enough.
Move onto the next morning, I am naively walking through my kitchen when I step on something again (not poop this time, phew). I’m thinking kids cereal, maybe a wayward Cheese Nip nope. As I pick my foot up I become grossly aware that there is a stink bug literally hugging my middle toe. Ahhhhhhhh!!! Hugging it. Like my toe was its best friend. I screamed (way loud) and it took me, no joke, five flicks to finally get the dag thing off of me. What on earth?? Are you kidding me with this.
Fast forward two days and I had to take my son to get an ingrown toe nail looked at. Two toe shots and one toe surgery later I was scarred. Those big brown eyes dripping round painful tears was enough to set this Momma over the edge. What happens next? As I am laying in bed that night I realize my own big toe is throbbing and in pain too. Four hobbling days later I am still nursing my own painful ingrown toenail and I could not help but keep asking God, “What is the deal with all the feet stuff??” As stressor after stressor kept piling up (kids crying to go to school, phone call from kids crying at school, baby crying during well…during everything, husband’s work delaying date night) you name it, it was happening and then there was all these feet happenings. What gives?
Here came the “husband states typical Maria moment” as this BIble verse came to my mind:
“So the Lord said to the serpent, ‘[mankind] will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”
Strike to the heel after strike to the heel I was reminded…the plans of the enemy they are nasty for us. They are gross, and creepy and crawly and sometimes they are even painful. But God, He is still mightier and though Satan comes after us he cannot destroy what God has already claimed as His. Satan can have my feet all he wants, the rest of me, the important parts…they belong to my Heavenly Father and nothing can take that away.
In the striking though, there comes a peace in sharing. The attacks, the poop, the bugs, the infections…they are not easy or pleasant things to deal with and my prayer is that we maybe can do it together. I need husbands to pass me soap and say ‘wash it off, you’ll be fine.” I need friends to pray for me and my kids. I need God’s word and prayer to remind me to constantly flick off the lies that I am not good enough or damaged somehow. If you would, if it would make you feel better…what’s got you feeling down this week? How can I pray for you? You are a blessed child of a magnificent King, may His light help bring us all up and out of the dark days. And can I get an amen to no more poop pllleeaaasee??