I despise spiders. Snakes give me nightmares. Worms haunt my daily existence. Basically, anything creepy, crawly, slithery, or slimy sends shivers down my spine and prickles my skin. When one of those little critters emerges from the deep recesses of land and baseboard, I cower in fear. My voice squeals, “Hoooooneeeeey! There’s a (name of disgusting creature here)! I need you!” And my husband comes galloping to my rescue, because sometimes love comes just in time to save your life…from all kinds of monsters.
I know, I know…God created all creatures, great and small. But the small ones really get me. Have you ever been reading your favorite book, the one that sends you into calm and peaceful dreams, only to have a tiny black spider overtly stalk you by landing on your forehead just as you turn the page? I have. And it is not a fun experience.
What is it about these wiggly abominations of existence that sends me screaming bloody murder into my husband’s ear at all hours of the night? Maybe it is the way the flimsy spider legs tickle the hairs on my arm or the snake’s tongue hisses death and destruction. Perhaps it is their sheer stealth, their whispering movements that sneak up on me from out of nowhere, like lies and deception personified.
These critters appear so guileless, quietly going about their days, in the very same way that real evil attempts to compromise our own innocence. As long as we seek the truth, the Lord tells us, we will be “set free.” We keep our eyes open, our Biblical armor at the ready, and we walk the path set before us. Evil creatures lose their power in the presence of truth, avoiding it like cockroaches scattering from the light.
We hope and pray that love and truth will combat evil with the ease of Jack removing a baby tarantula from Elizabeth’s shoulder, as he does in season 1, episode 4. Oh, that the battle would be that easy. More often than not, we must defeat the enemy like Cat Montgomery does. While a fictional character, she represents the spirit in us all and how we must respond when evil encroaches on us. Instead of compromising her beliefs, and destroying her husband’s good name and her children’s respect, she holds tight to the truth of 1st Timothy 3:7, “He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” She denies Mr. Spurlock’s evil proposition and works tirelessly to clear her husband’s name. In the end, by acknowledging the truth of her husband’s actions to both Elizabeth and Jack, Mrs. Montgomery remains a beacon to others in the community.
The truth is not always pretty, and it is almost always more difficult to speak the truth in love than to deceive with good intentions. We fear consequences and shame. We fear disappointment and heartache. But, like a cluster of baby tarantulas disseminate from its mother, locking away the truth can instead spread a passel of tiny lies that have irreparable consequences. Better to speak the truth with the best of intentions and pray that it is well received than to set a cockroach or spider of deception free to destroy.
Avoid evil spiders (and snakes and worms) at all costs. Someday, the knight in shining armor might not be there to remove it gently from your shoulder or trap it in a paper cup. Instead, you may be called to stomp it into oblivion on your own, using the most powerful weapon you can: the belt of truth.