BY BRENDA HOPF
CONNECTING FAITH AND LIFE
I glanced into our living room as I walked through the foyer and saw something moving across the floor. It was a lizard! I saw it slither under our sectional on the far end of the living room from where I was standing. With no one else in the house, it was up to me to get it out – that is, if I could even find it.
I ran to get a broom, thinking I could sweep it toward the door and get it out that way. I have compassion for living creatures, but no one wants to be relaxing on the couch with the surprise of a lizard crawling across them. That’s all I could think about. I was pretty sure I could not be at peace until I knew the lizard was no longer in my house.
I cautiously lifted the footrest on the recliner that the lizard had crawled under; nothing. I looked behind and all around the entire sectional; nothing. With my skin still crawling at the thought of a lizard in my house, I decided I could waste no more time looking for the reptile and returned to the tasks I had started for the day. I went back a few times to see if the lizard had come out, and twice, it was peeking out from the same spot on the sectional where it first hid; but even as I tried to very quietly grab my broom and ever-so-slowly approach it, immediately it would retreat, nowhere to be found. When my husband Jerry came home, we searched again but to no avail.
The next day, I saw evidence that led me to believe the lizard was no longer in the living room. This concerned me, but I was beginning to think I would just have to accept it and hope for the best. By the time the third day rolled around, I briefly looked for the lizard, or evidence of it, and then went about my business. Later on that third day, as I was about to start a load of laundry, I picked up our dirty clothes and headed to the washer. It all happened so fast. Clothing, myself and the lizard were flying everywhere. Yes, there it was; when I let my guard down and was not even thinking about it, there was the lizard. I quickly tried to regain my balance and ran to get a broom. When I got back, the lizard was, again, nowhere to be found.
This innocent lizard, as creepy as it was to me, taught me a lesson about letting my guard down and not being prepared. I fail at this daily, especially when it comes to being prepared to ward off evil – or in this case, a lizard in my house.
I ask you all to join me in discerning what the best path is for each of us to always be prepared to resist the Evil One and to be able to do that in a way that doesn’t take such a toll on us spiritually, mentally and physically. I found that the following words from Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians really gave me inspiration and hope.
“Build up your strength in union with the Lord…Put on the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces…of this dark age. So put on God’s armor now!...after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground…At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One….Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help…keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people” (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Brenda Hopf is a member of Divine Mercy Parish in Dubois County and also contributes to the “Sharing the Load” column in The Message.