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Of Insects and Iniquities  

When Africans visit the USA, I wonder what stands out to them.  What makes them scratch their heads and say, “Why?” As for what makes this American scratch his head while visiting Africa, that I can answer in one word: insects.

Ten trips to the vast expanse called Africa have done nothing to dampen my love and admiration for this massive continent.  But frankly, I do wonder about the bugs. 

I’ve come across insects so bulbous and so massive, their wingspans appear to rival small aircraft (well, almost that big).  Indeed, Africa’s flying insects are an air force unto themselves. 

Visiting a restroom in Ghana, I heard a sound like dishes being shoved about in a china cupboard.  Turned out it was “merely” a single large flying something or other. 

But here's the kicker.  Despite the hordes of gigantic insects, you will find comparatively few screens on windows and doors.  In homes wealthy and not so wealthy, screens are a "maybe" item at best. Why?

Aren’t these people bothered by the insects? Why don’t more of them choose to protect themselves from the onslaught of creepy crawlers?  I wonder if they are so used to beetles the size of small birds, they don't even notice them. 

My missionary friend, Dr. Bill Rapier, founder of African Leadership Development reminded me, "If you've never had it (a window screen), you probably don't know there is such a thing!"  You can't miss what you've never known. Plus, Bill reminds me, there is widespread use of window sheers that does help with the bugs. 

Allow me a hairpin turn as I ask, why don’t more of us put up more of a protective barrier against the sin all around us?  The doors and windows of our souls are often left entirely open and unprotected.   We pay little heed to the little—and large—critters that eat away at our holiness, gnaw at our peace, and sting us with the reality of our failures.

I'm amazed at the number of times I've fallen for the same sins.  I'm embarrassed by the way the confession of those sins sounds ridiculously repetitive.

Is it possible we’ve become so familiar with sin, it no longer bothers us?  Any chance we may have become so used to some sins we no longer screen them out?  Just wondering and just struggling—like you, perhaps.

Thanks for letting me…um…bug you.

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016