I had an odd dream the other day (yes, day). The kind you wake up from just knowing it had to mean something.
I lived in a tiny, mud shack in a village sometime a long time ago, perhaps in biblical times. I was going to meet a friend of mine and for some reason I had to climb out a window in order to get there – wherever there was. I peered out the window, which was no more than a square cut out of the middle of a wall, looking for wild animals that would be on the prowl. Gingerly climbing through the opening, I ran past the lions, not wanting to end up being someone’s lunch. That was easy enough.
I met my friend and by the looks of her costume - a long robe and head covering, it confirmed that we were indeed not in Kansas, Toto. We ran together and quickly climbed a ladder to the top of another mud shack, still fearing for our lives as lions and other large animals roamed about. She reached the top before I did, and was quickly covered in tiny, black bugs.
She lay at the top, murmuring something about the fact that even though we escaped the obvious danger of the larger animals, we hadn’t realized that these small bugs, that I somehow knew were called flukes, were just as dangerous. She died as she lay there, and as I stood there still perched on the ladder, I woke up.
Flukes. How did I know these things were called flukes? I’ve never even heard of a fluke.
So I got on the internet and looked it up and here’s what I learned:
1. a fluke is the part of an anchor that catches in the ground, especially the flat triangular piece at the end of each arm;
2. it is either half of the triangular tail of a whale;
3. it is a type of flatfish;
4. it is a trematode, which is a type of flatworm parasite that has suckers or hooks for attaching to host tissue;
5. it is a barbed head, as on an arrow or a harpoon;
6. it means a stroke of good luck.
So what does all that mean as far as my dream goes? While the black bugs that killed my nap-generated friend weren’t any of the things mentioned in the definition of fluke, they were small and benign-looking, yet had the ability to burrow their way into their victim.
The lions we were careful of; the little black bugs we had hardly noticed until it was too late.
Do we, as Christians, do the same thing? Do we look out for the “lions” that would harm us – the "big," obvious sins we should stay away from: murder, stealing…and then forget to watch out for the “little” sins that can take us over before we even realize it – unforgiveness, an attitude? If left unchecked and undealt with, those nasty, little parasites can burrow themselves into a spirit and begin killing it from the inside.
Let’s keep away from the lions, but let’s also remember to pick off the bugs before they have a chance to sink their hooks in.