Lower Your Stinger

Several days ago, I discovered a small scorpion that had somehow been trapped between the screen and the glass portions of my back door. Fortunately, the species of scorpions that live here are harmless. They sting, but do not inject a fatal dose of poison. Relieved that it couldn’t seriously harm my kids or me I tried to figure out how I could kill it. Since it was an unusually cold day and scorpions are supposed to be hibernating during this time of the year, I determined that the safest way was to simply let it succumb to the elements.

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice-Proverbs 24:17 NIV

When evening came, I knew that the scorpion would soon be a goner. His stinger was instinctually raised, but began to curl…only four of his legs held position. And suddenly, my venomous enemy garnered my pity. Because of where and what he was, I couldn’t help him, but I stopped hating him too. Knowing that his very nature would be the cause of his undoing was sobering.

As I walked away from the nearly frozen scorpion, three words stung my heart:

Love. Your. Enemies.

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’s and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! – Matthew 5:43-44 NLT

Immediately, my shoulder muscles tensed because that commandment riles up my defense mechanisms and makes me ask why? Why love? It would be easier to obey this charge if it were slightly reworded. Ignoring my enemies doesn’t seem so tough. Even tolerating, or bestowing mercy upon them would be doable. But love? Love requires action…love requires risk…love requires forgiveness. But love is what He gives…and love is what He asks of us.

Love. Your. Enemies.

My thoughts shifted from the innate tendencies of the creepy-crawly to the innate tendencies imbedded in the core of humankind. As humans, we see and assign various degrees of evil, but God identifies the same hideous blemish marring the souls of each individual on the planet…sin. The tempo of my pulse accelerated as I remembered both those who hurt me and the pain I had inflicted on others. We are all like that scorpion. We lift our stingers high to ward off others who may do us harm unaware of the increased danger we face as a result.

Always the protective father, God shows us that there is a better way. Instead of building our defenses, He urges us to lower our weapons and fight fire with love.

8 Responses to Lower Your Stinger
  1. Amanda
    November 26, 2008 | 10:31 am

    Angela…this is beautiful and inspirational and so well thought out and OBVIOUSLY Spirit led… you have such a gift for turning soemthing that could be hard to hear into something that I am desperate to understand. Thanks for your words! You are such a blessings.

    Prayers for you-

  2. Julie Todd
    November 26, 2008 | 11:57 am

    This was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I loved reading every word and I especially loved the picture that Papa painted through you. We have scorpions here too! I can see the picture perfectly!


  3. Genny
    November 26, 2008 | 2:19 pm

    What a great reminder that God does have a better way. Thanks for this!

  4. Karen
    November 26, 2008 | 8:53 pm

    “Always the protective Father…”
    Yes, He is. And I am so thankful!
    You did a great job here, Angela. Both your thoughts and your writing are beautiful. *grin*

  5. Julie Donahue
    November 27, 2008 | 2:55 am

    Ouch! Speaking from someone who has been stung by a scorpion (and as someone who has trouble praying for her enemies!) Great reminder!

  6. Lynn Northup
    November 30, 2008 | 11:37 pm

    Your writing is so beautiful and meaningful! Have you written any books? Thanks for the reminder of how we should treat others no matter what!! Lynn =)

  7. Tiffany Stuart
    December 3, 2008 | 12:57 pm

    I so relate the the words “LOVE your enemies.” This year I experienced what that looked like in my life in a powerful way. I wrote an article about it on my blog titled The Letter that Changed Me. It went up today December 3rd.

    This is great! I love it when God speaks so clearly.

    Fight fire with love… What truth.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  8. gretchen
    December 8, 2008 | 11:39 pm

    Boy, I needed that. Without our pride, we’re all pretty much the same, no? This was such a beautiful word picture for me, Angela…as always.