Flypaper of Life

Flypaper of Life

by Joan Ray

I love to kill flies but until Frances ( a hurricane that skirted us one year) I did not remember that.

As a child, we spent most of the month of July at the Isle of Palms. Our grandfather, Pops and Bomma (our grandmother) and Auntie were there. Also our Aunt Annette and our mother along with the four and later five cousins. It was a place of safety and refuge. Emma and sometimes Annie Mae, my grandmother's maids took care of all of us. And Jesus was there always because he resided so strongly in Auntie.

But also there were flies. The house had a big old screen porch that wrapped around the front and part of the sides of the house. There were two hammocks on the porch, one at each end and dozens (it seemed) of rocking chairs. Also a glider. The porch over looked the dunes and the ocean.

This was way before air conditioning, so the whole house opened to this porch and also the ocean breeze or at low tide, the absence of the breeze. When it was very still, when the air was very still, the mosquitoes would arrive. If you were not very careful they would get inside the house. But no matter how careful we were, flies were inevitable. They were always there on the porch, landing on the screens. And so we would go on fly hunts. Armed with rolled newspapers or old magazines even an occasional fly swatter, we would attack the flies. Annette particularly hated the little bugs. It was like a game to see who could kill the most. Sometimes they were quite adept at escaping.

After Frances, there were flies in my house. Where did they come from? I have no idea but "search and destroy" I did. Last night I was gleefully killing them. My husband who has no history said, "What is wrong with you? You are scaring me." But in actual fact I was having a ball smashing the little critters with a rolled up magazine. I got every one of them too. Flies appear to be much less agile, Or could it be I am much more experienced now?

In case you begin to feel sorry for the flies, remember they come from and make maggots. Maggots are good because they are like little garbage disposals, even though most people feel disgust when we look at them. Maggots are nasty looking. Flies are interesting, they have these little hairs on their legs. Hairs you can't even see without magnification but hairs that carry germs and bacteria everywhere they touch. And flies especially like to land on fresh food. And stick their little germy legs on there. And leave the germs and bacteria so the unwary can become ill.

I began to think. Little demons or old thought patterns that plague us are much like flies. There is a song that goes "shoo fly, don't bother me." Once a person I loved said when you discern the attack of the enemy of our soul, just say "Shoo, shoo". That may work very well for her but often in my life, at least at this juncture of my life, it takes more than "shoo, shoo" to get rid of the little demon's attacks. But when an attack appears, with Jesus as my guide, I can go on a search and destroy mission. Sometimes alone and sometimes with help. Sometimes with just "shoo, shoo" but sometimes with a rolled up newspaper (i.e. the word/power of God) But even though they may not know it, even though at the moment I may forget it, their days are numbered and in fact for those of us who believe, they are dead before they even start. So are the "germs" they try to spread. And even in a way like maggots, they can be used for good for they point us to the Creator and Healer of our souls and help us expose to the light that which is hidden.

Thanks be to the Power of the Word of Life in our lives. And for the gift he gives each of us in the Body of Christ.

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