Friday, July 19, 2013

"Hidden from Sight"

  •  By Tony Harriman

Right now in the news across the USA are stories of fires, HUGE fires, burning up thousands of acres of forests throughout almost half the country.  Due to arid conditions in some areas the flames have gone through rural neighborhoods within hours and left nothing but the foundations of hundreds of homes.  The landscape looks a lot like the Midwest a month or so ago after the tornadoes went through, except all that remains of the family homestead is charred.  It's curious to me that these enormous blazes have, in many cases, been started by dry lightning; others have been kindled by the carelessness of campers, and sometimes smokers.  There's a real lesson there somewhere in the fact that carnage can often be caused with the greatest of ease.  And, as the Wise Man pointed out, the fire never says, "It's enough!"  The fire runs till it runs out of things to eat.

Here in the Southeastern USA the story has been very different.  Many southern states have already received more than their entire year's worth of rain, and the end is not yet in sight.  Conspiracy theories abound, as do the doomsayers; but all we actually know for sure is that it's wet out there.  With that thought in mind, I'd like to share an observation or two.

In my opinion the Southeast has more than its fair share of fire ants.  From time to time small mounds appear almost anywhere on the lawn or somewhere in the yard.  A small fortune may be made from selling ant granules which "guarantee" to eliminate the whole colony, including the queen.    A variety of Old-wives cocktails exist which also "guarantee" to wipe out these miniature neighborhoods, but good luck finding one that "agrees" with the alkalinity of your particular yard. Most of the time the ants remain out of sight, only to be discovered when you move things around in your yard, drop food, or when you kick back on the grass for a nap.  But when the ground becomes sodden from continual rain, the ants move their front yard to your front yard, and the mounds rise up almost all over the place.  If you've lived in the Southeast for a season or two, you likely will have seen the granular dirt appear abundantly after a couple of days of wet weather.  If not … you will.

It's this revelation of a species which has dwelt almost invisibly under our noses that is of particular interest to me.  Unless the circumstances were to change from time to time, we'd hardly know some of the creatures with whom we share our world even existed.  We've talked about the ants; now consider the creatures which appear when the sun goes down.  Think about the bats which come out to play as darkness approaches.  Having no need of the light because of their incredible ability to interpret sound, bats feed on another creature which stirs mainly in the evening: the mosquito.  Mosquitoes are around most of the time, but they seem to feed best in the evening.  And consider the many species of owls that inhabit the night stalking their prey.

Many years ago when I took my first vacation to Florida, a handful of us took the trip up the Turnpike to visit Disney World.  The driver (a native of Florida) took us on the road after a last-minute decision; we headed out in the evening.  A long while after dark, he pulled to the side of the road once the traffic had died down, and invited us to step out and look into the bushes across the ditch.  I stood spellbound.  I had grown up in England where we have the regular varieties of insects and animals, and was not prepared for the sight before me.  This was my first introduction to fireflies.  A swarm of lowly lightning bugs, as they are known by many, was performing a dance of light which I had never seen before, or have ever since.  I have lived in the southeastern USA for many years now, but have never tired of walking through the long grass during the spring and summer months while the fireflies hover.  Chiggers?  Yeah … small price to pay, though.  These flashing, luminescent creatures are always there in the grass and bushes of lands with a tropical climate, but are never seen until the conditions are right, i.e. nighttime.

In the dark recesses of the planet's oceans dwell many other kinds of creatures that produce their own light, just like the firefly, but are seldom seen by human beings.  TV channels like Discovery, Learning and National Geographic have done wonders to help us realize that human beings are a pitiful addition to the population of the planet, at least as far as numbers are concerned.

On a more creepy level (pardon the pun), darkness also brings out another creature, a disgusting one: the cockroach.  Many's the time I've walked into a darkened room of some ag├Ęd food establishment, flicked on the light, only to watch the floors and walls come to life with scurrying cockroaches running from the brightness.  Yuck!  Makes my stomach turn to think of it even now.  Cockroaches thrive in the darkness, as do rats and mice.  Unlike some other creatures which we would actually like to see more of, we're happy when these carriers of disease remain confined to their dens.

My personal belief is that we share the planet with another species, one that we cannot see with the eyes — namely: devils.  If Murphy had a father, he would come from this disgusting breed of creature.  If irony had a mother, that mother would originate in the darkness the devils live among.  I'm not sure how much control these devils have over the weather systems of the planet, but I have a sense that if they can do harm without drawing the blame, that's what they'd do.  Science scurries around looking for natural explanations for trouble and destruction on the planet, and it's decided that all the woes of the earth spring from sunspots or global warming or Freon or plastic manufacturing or oil wells, and on and on and on.  I'm sure some of those play a role, but I don't think we should rule out the possibility that unseen creatures are busy plotting mayhem, and will use anything available to them.  Hollywood classifies these creatures as those that dwell in the "supernatural;"  I feel we should classify this species as one of those that dwell in darkness — spiritual darkness.  Just like the lightning, concocted when the conditions are right, these creatures come out to play when given even the slightest opportunity.  And, just as with the breeze, you may not see anything, but you definitely see the effects.

A surefire way to bring these creatures to the surface is to make any attempt to change your lifestyle for the good — quit smoking, drinking or doing drugs; eat or drink more healthfully; get more exercise; stop exercising a judgmental spirit, or criticizing others.  In other words, just plan to take better care of yourself and the welfare of others, and you'll quickly become acquainted with the influence of creatures bent on your discomfort.

Another way to crack some light on these beings is to show an interest in Biblical things.  Don't just go through a ritual of fast-paced Bible study, read and think about what you're reading; try to apply some of the new-found principles to your life, such as "Do unto others as you would like them to do to you," or "Love your neighbor as yourself."  If a portion of Scripture doesn't add up for you, question it; maybe an old interpretation is just plain-old wrong.  On the other hand maybe the old interpretation is correct, you just haven't looked at it like this before.

Until the earth is made new we are going to have to put up with these creatures of darkness; but watch for the beams of light that peep through the tears.

So what protection is there right now?  

Well, first I think you should acknowledge the fact that we are not alone, and that the visitants to our planet are not from a galaxy far, far away.  It appears that these creatures originally broke upon our reality the very first day they were given the opportunity in the Garden of Eden — Paradise, no less.  How the serpent, who was under the dominion of Adam, got overcome by the devil is not clear, but do recognize that this was the first earthly creature to paint a cruel picture of doubt upon the words of the Creator of heaven and earth.

The next thing I think you should acknowledge is that the only person who remained unaffected during His earthly life was Jesus Christ alone.  Not unafflicted, but definitely unaffected, was the Person of Jesus.  So I conclude that in the counsel of Jesus we may find a place to rest our souls from the constant breeze of darkness that has enshrouded our earthly home.  "Come out of him!" were words oft repeated by Jesus as He encountered those possessed with devils.  Today modern medicine would say that the blind, the deaf and the mute are stricken with a manageable condition, and perhaps they are right; perhaps what was once considered a demonic possession was nothing more than an anatomical abnormality, or a chemical or hormonal imbalance.  Whatever it is or was, Jesus chased it away — frequently.  And this Jesus Who changes not, can do similar things for you today, given the opportunity.  The power of Jesus is not lessened by the passing of time, I'm sure you'll agree.  Raised to life four days after death is a concept which still remains medically mythical in the minds of many in the establishment, have no doubt.  But how Jesus pulled it off was not a concern of those who received the blessing of life.

Oh, by the way, there is another Being who is always there — not in the spiritual darkness — but hidden in plain sight, in the light, as well as in the physical darkness: our Heavenly Father, Who has not forgotten us.  Though we cannot see Him, you may be confirmed of His presence … through the application of prayer.  Ask for things you know He would like you to have.  Surely He would be happy to help us help others in ways that He would if He were right now here in Person.  You might be surprised at how useful you can be.  You likely will not become rich … or poor; but you will be satisfied.  To be satisfied means you will dwell somewhere between "comfortable" and "content."  You might not have all you "want," but that fault might be yours alone.  Private prayer for public signs seems to me to be an excellent way to become acquainted with our Father Whom we cannot see — for now.

As a closing thought: doesn't it seem sometimes that the issue is being forced so that all these invisible beings may be clearly brought to the surface?  Is it just my imagination, or does the world seem to be teetering on the edge of some awful calamity that will cause humanity to make a choice as to which spirit they will allow to guide them?  The Religious and political unrest on the planet seem to me to be causing an absolute rift between those who would be free and those who would rather dictate.

And that's just my take on it ….

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