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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Make-My-Day Skunk

We lived in Paradise, California for four years. Beautiful area in the foothills of the Sierras. Wooded, steep terrain, quiet, seemingly serene.
At night, from the master bedroom, we heard the never-ending chorus of spring peepers, the back and forth hoot-hoot of a pair of owls, howling coyotes, and the occasional demonic screeches of dueling kitties.
One animal we never heard but were painfully aware of was the skunk. Every night around ten or so, the fluffy critter made his way from the empty lot just west of us, under our fence, across our long, concrete patio and under the Filman's fence for a long, cool drink at their pool.
Two times, Mr. Skunk decided to cross our lawn earlier in the evening and encountered Dudley, the dog. Dudley probably would have qualitfied for Doggy Mensa --if there were such a thing. Yes, he was that smart.
But smart dogs never seem to learn about skunks. That's what the guy at the pet store said when I came in for the stuff they use to remove skunk odor from fur.
Mr. Skunk also liked to terrorize my then-teenaged son as he walked to the bus stop early each morning. Garrett had to make a wide berth around the little menace each time he encountered him on the street.
My friend, Annie, came out for a visit one hot summer. When it cooled off at the end of the day, we decided to take a leisurely stroll around the block.
It's a big block, about a mile and a half around. Did I say that rattlers used to lie on the road at sun-down so we had to keep a look-out for them?
So we're being careful not to step on a snake but enjoying the lovely walk, too.
We get about the last couple hundred yards from the house when something catches our eye.
Mr. Skunk.
Does he run away when he sees us?
Of course not.
He ambles across the road, a mere fifty feet in front of us. And, instead of disappearing into the woods and undergrowth, slows to sniff at vegetation bordering the street. Then he sits, apparently waiting. Like a miniature Clint Eastwood. "Go ahead, make my day."
Now we're in a quandary. Should we try to walk past the stinky menace, hoping he doesn't get riled? Or should we back-track? It's at least a mile if we turn around and go back the other way.
And it's getting dark.
Did I mention the rattle snakes on the road?
You know how they say, "discretion is the better part of valor?"
We walked all the way back around the block.

I thought about it the other day. That skunk has faith. He's not afraid, because he knows he's armed. He's invincible. The white stripe down his back tells predators, "Back off."

I have a weapon, too. Very effective for warding off my own kinds of predators.
The Sword of the Spirit. I can say, just like Mr. Skunk, "Go ahead, make my day."
I don't always realize just how powerful my weapon is.
But it's invincible.

"Put on the the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."
. . . Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Eph. 6: 11,17)

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