I killed last week. Twice, I think. And did it again on Sunday. I am not used to being a killer. I did what I had to do, but none of it felt good. Well, one of the killings did.
I killed the first one with a baseball bat. Yes, that seems excessive, but I was wearing open-toed shoes and did not want to risk the chance of Her striking back. My victim, of course, was a black widow. Running through my mind were scenes of the spider jumping on me, biting me and infecting me with its venom, while I screamed for help. I did not want to use a metal bat because I feared I would miss and hit something in the closet, which housed some important equipment for the church. I did not want to kill, but it was my only option. My first swing with the bat made a horrible clang with the concrete. I was not sure I killed the spider with that one hit, so I continued to beat it. For every hit, there was a horrible clang. I think it echoed through the empty parking lot and could be heard across the street. I could not tell if she was dead because she did not flatten out the way other spiders usually do. She finally stopped moving and I was able to take care of my original business.
The next day I was driving with my oldest son back to our house to pick up the school work he so conveniently forgot to bring to the office with him. We only live a three-minute drive away. I watched a gray squirrel run into the road. I have watched countless squirrels play this game with vehicles, where they run into the street and run back to safety just in time. Well, this squirrel did not get back to safety. I did not swerve. In my rearview mirror, I could see what I had done. I decided not to go back to work the same way. I had to explain to my child that I did not mean to run over the squirrel, but I had to keep us safe by not swerving into the other lane. I was near tears, though.
On Sunday, there was a mosquito flying around my family, trying to get in through the door. It landed on the ground, after buzzing around my husband. I stepped on it. No remorse there.
Why am I writing all of this? Maybe it is because I was re-reading the history of Samson. He killed a lion with his bare hands! Well, the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon Samson and he was able to tear that young lion to pieces (Judges 14:6). He was born to be a Nazirite to God. That means he was not allowed to drink wine and other strong drinks (alcohol), nor eat grapes, could not touch any dead bodies, and could not have a razor touch his head (no haircuts). Usually Nazirites made this vow themselves and lived this lifestyle to keep themselves holy for a certain amount of time, to separate themselves from others so that they could devote themselves to the Lord. When the time of their vow was up, then they followed specific practices of sacrificing and shaving their heads (Numbers 6). Samson was born a Nazirite, and was supposed to stay that way all his life. Actually, the lifestyle began when he was in his mother's womb, because she had to make the same vow while she carried him.
Samson grew up. Although the Lord blessed him, he was still a very flawed man. He was to have his hand in saving Israel from the Philistines. Through many events in just three chapters of Judges, we learn Samson ultimately fulfilled what was promised by the angel of the Lord, but he did not lead a holy lifestyle. Yet, God still blessed him.
I did not take the vow of a Nazirite. I ate Raisin Bran just the other day. I have not had a haircut since September, but I hope to get another one this summer. It is now Spring, so the insects are back and so is my fly swatter and fly traps. Even though I have not taken that vow, I have been set apart by my love for Jesus Christ. I had to ask for forgiveness for killing the squirrel (one of God's creatures), and asked for strength and fearlessness when killing the big spider. I needed to protect my community from that blood-sucking mosquito. I did what I had to do, and I regret none of it!
2 Timothy 2:20-22 English Standard Version (ESV)
20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,[a] he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.