Shortly after we were married, my wife and I rented a small house in Sterling, KS. It was a nice little home, perfect for a young couple with no kids and less money.
Out in the back of the house was a small stucco shed, built to look like it belonged to the house. The previous renters, and maybe even the renters before them, had left their legacy in the shed, piles of junk that was so old and moth eaten that you couldn’t tell what it once had been.
Now even then, when we didn’t have much in our home, we still didn’t have space for my “stuff.” Granted, my stuff consisted almost entirely of Star Wars things – models, posters, books, etc… – things that, for some reason, wives really don’t treasure as much as husbands desperately clinging to their childhood. So, my stuff went to my office, the cellar, and if I got it cleaned out, even the shed.
I really looked forward to getting the shed cleared out. Think of it, a man-cave – where I could put my things, and be a man… i.e. burp, fart, break things and make loud noises, quintessential man things. I was ready to clear out the shed.
I chose a nice spring day to tackle the shed – a day I knew my wife would be gone so that she couldn’t interfere. This was important man business, and I didn’t need a woman, no matter how wonderful she is, to tell me how I was doing this wrong.
I opened the door to the shed and began clearing out some of the big junk that had been left – a rusty Schwinn bike with no tires or pedals, an old chest of drawers minus the drawers. You get the drift. I made pretty good time, and in about an hour had the front room of the shed cleared out.
Up until now, I hadn’t looked up – the trash was on the floor, not on the ceiling – why look up? When I noticed, however, a broken light bulb on the floor, I realized that there might be a light fixture up above, then this would be the primo man shed. I looked up, and sure enough, there was the fixture for a light, and right next to it, the biggest wasp nest I had ever seen.
I don’t like wasps. I don’t know why they were created – I’m sure God needed to feed the birds something, then thought, hey, why don’t I give them a 5 inch syringe just to torment Ethan. I could tell you I’m allergic – but that’s just code for “Scary Bug!”
Immediately I head for the pantry in the house and grab my can of wasp spray, the kind that has the 20 foot spray to totally hose down the menacing beasties. On my way back out, I grab the broom as well, thinking it would come in handy, just in case.
It takes me a while, standing outside the shed, just trying to muster the courage to unleash my fury on the nest of winged death. Finally, I’m ready. With my broom in one hand, and the Raid in other, I approach, standing in the doorway. Ready, Aim, Fire. I pour out my righteous vengeance and all Godly wrath on this unsuspecting nest of demons, nearly emptying my can of Raid, crying out like a suburban William Wallace charging the fields of Stirling (I love Braveheart).
That’s when the unexpected happened. In the din of my primal yell, I notice a soft and squishy blop – the sound of a wet sponge hitting a cold tile floor. This was not the sound I expected from a wasps nest – in fact, I didn’t expect the nest to fall at all. Curiosity – that thing that killed the cat – overtook me, and I had to step into the shed for a closer look.
There in the middle of the shed was the small mass of soggy something. Again, there was very little light coming in the shed, so I could quite make out what this was. I decided a little nudge from the broom wouldn’t be so bad – how may ways could I be wrong.
You see, it wasn’t a wasp’s nest after all. Turns out, it was a bat. Yes, a bat. Looking back now, I’m sure it was your common everyday run of the mill bat, about 5-6 inches wingspan – eating insects and generally a helpful creature for controlling the mosquito population. However, at that moment, and for several weeks, if not years after that fateful day, the bat was a least a foot from wingtip to wingtip, with huge foaming fangs (aka the Killer Rabbit – Monty Python) – which, after having been doused with Raid, then poked with a broom, was certainly not all that happy. The rabid monster flew at me – I know they’re blind, but since I was at that time screaming like a little girl – thus disqualifying myself for a man-cave – the bat knew precisely where to go. It came at me, and I sprayed it with the Raid. The bat went down again, but quickly came back at me. I hosed it once more with the Raid, ducking behind a tree as it approached. I watched the bat as it drunkenly fluttered off to safer ground, and I prayed that I would never see a bat again.
My wife came home a couple of hours later to find me passed out on the couch, covered up under a blanket, with The Empire Strikes Back playing on the TV (its my woobie). She asked, cautiously, how the shed was coming, and I mumbled something about preferring to keep my stuff in the cellar, then rolled over and dozed off to “No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.”
I guess the point of the story – if there has to be one – it this: Turn on the lights. Why do we stumble through the house in the dark, smashing out little toes on the corner of the couch; is it just to save a few bucks on the electric bill. It makes no sense, if you have the light, use it.
The Bible tells us the same thing, “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (ESV I John 1:9). God has given us the light of the world, His Son, Jesus Christ. If we have been made alive in Jesus, then His light shines in us, and it lights our way. We, then, are to walk in the light, not in the darkness of our former was. We have been cleansed by His blood, washed and made new, let us therefore walk in the light. Working in the dark is dumb, living in the dark, with out Jesus Christ in our lives is just plain dangerous. His light shines for the world to see, let us walk in that light.