Small animals have been guilty of creating some of the most extensive power outages in America.
For instance, on August 10, 2015 3,000 homes in Osceola, Florida, lost power when a frog short-circuited an arrestor. Other animals that are categorized as “the usual suspects” include rats, cats, snakes, raccoons, and birds. Birds alone have been credited with nearly 600 power outages. The worst culprits of all, however, are squirrels. According to the Cyber Squirrel website, well over 1,100 failures in the electrical grid have been the work of squirrels—at least since the site been tracking this information.
But little critters not only cause shutdowns, they sometimes make sparks fly–not sparks of electricity, but of fear, tension, and anxiety. Tourists in Asia might think a clever thief has run off with their camera or wallet. Most likely, however, the thief was a furry or feathered one (e.g. a monkey or a crow). I recall a time in my youth when some neighborhood kids secretly ran off with some of our outdoor Christmas lights. I have since learned that Christmas lights are a favorite of squirrels. It wasn’t those neighborhood punks after all.
Another Unlikely Culprit
Then, recently, in the wake of multiple reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment, police were called to a Portsmouth, New Hampshire home. Some local pervert had been rifling through the underwear drawer of a female family member. Yet, when police investigated they found no evidence of forced entry. Could one of the family’s friends or a close associate have been the pervert? Or perhaps even a sick-minded member of the family? Tensions mounted as family members suspected each other. Police dreaded the thought of questioning all the town’s residents. It could be anyone.
Well, fortunately for everyone, the true culprit was exposed within a few days. It was the family cat. She had merely found the drawer open. And, upon exploring, found it to be soft and cozy inside.
Terrorists were not responsible for all those power outages. Malicious thieves were not stealing all those Christmas lights. And a local pervert was not invading the privacy of a young woman. The perpetrators were far more innocent.
A Carried Away Imagination
It makes me wonder if most of the “evil” we see in others is only a figment of our imagination. Think about it. If even half of what we believe about our neighbors is true—their hateful scheming and treachery—they wouldn’t have time in life to do anything else in life. They wouldn’t have time for work, spending time with their families, or enjoying any leisure activities. When I hear one person or group vilify another, it sounds as if people actually believe they have nothing else to do in life but plan each other’s misfortune.
We are a paranoid nation, seeing evil behind every frown and every oversight. A person frowns at us and we think they’re out to get us. In reality, they are probably worried, troubled, or simply having a bad day. We don’t get the recognition or the job advancement we hoped for, and we interpret it as bigotry. It might be. But it might also be that the other person was simply better at the job and easier to work with.
Besides, if you are a believer and have placed your life in the hands of the Almighty, then it doesn’t matter if all the hosts of hell wage war against you. Nothing can separate you from God’s love and God’s love causes all things—both pleasant and painful—to work out for your ultimate good and God’s ultimate glory (Romans 8:28–39). God never ceases to plan and work for your welfare and blessing (Psalm 139:17-18). Let’s exercise some faith on this spiritual journey and subdue our outlandish fears.
Dear Father in heaven, when I’m tempted to see evil in other people’s actions, words, and looks, remind me that You are for me, not against me. And if God is for me, who can be against me? Instead of vilifying others, help me to guard against to true enemies of my soul—my own fears, lusts, and willfulness. Save me from myself, O God, and make me wholly Yours. Amen.