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Satan Steals

There is a haunting photo by Alain Keler in the October 1993 issue of Life magazine. It is of a boy playing a flute. The boy, named Jensen, is only ten years old, but he probably can play some very sad songs. For when you took at his eyes-or where his eyes should be beneath his long, dark bangs-you see only redness, empty sockets. Jensen lives in a charitable institution in Bogotd, Colombia.

Blindness is always tragic, but the cause of blindness in this case only multiplies the sorrow. In the caption next to the photo, Robert Sullivan explains that the boy was likely the victim of "organ nappers." Eye thieves.

When Jensen was ten months old, reports his mother, she took him to the hospital with acute diarrhea. The next day when she returned, bandages covered Jensen's eyes. Dried blood was spattered on his body. Horrified, she asked the doctor what had happened.

He answered harshly, "Can't you see your child is dying?" and dismissed her.

She rushed Jensen to another hospital in Bogotd. After examining him, the doctor gave chilling news: "They've stolen his eyes."

Jensen is somewhat fortunate. He is alive. The organ traffickers usually kill their victims, excise body parts, and broker them to those willing to pay for healthy kidney or cornea transplants.

Organ thieves in Bogotd, Colombia, are not the only ones stealing eyes. There is someone who steals a person's ability to see in an even more tragic way: Satan.

Blindness, Greed, Satan, Stealing
John 10:10; 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 2:11

Contemporary Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Editor Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 240.


Satan's Weapon Is Deception

The Portia spider is a master predator whose chief weapon is deception. To begin with, says Robert R. Jackson in National Geographic, the spider looks like a piece of dried leaf or foliage blown into the web. When it attacks other species of spiders, it uses a variety of methods to lure the host spider into striking range.

Sometimes it crawls onto the web and taps the silken threads in a manner that mimics the vibrations of a mosquito caught in the web. The host spider marches up for dinner and instead becomes a meal itself.

The Portia spider can actually tailor its deception for its prey. With a type of spider that maintains its home inside a rolled-up leaf, the Portia dances on the outside of the leaf, imitating a mating ritual.

Jackson writes, "Portia can find a signal for just about any spider by trial and error. It makes different signals until the victim spider finally responds appropriately--then keeps making the signal that works."

Like the Portia spider, Satan's weapon of choice is deception.

Lies, Satan, Stumbling, Temptation Matt. 4: 1-11; John 8:42-45; 2 Cor. 11: 14-15

Choice Contemporary Stories & Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 63.

Defeating Satan

The waters off Natal province in South Africa are shark-infested, writes Hugh Dellios in the Chicago Tribune. To maintain the tourist trade in the area, the Natal Shark Board has tried many different solutions. They have attempted using various odors as shark repellents, without success. They tried piping in sounds, such as that of the shark's archenemy the killer whale, without success. In earlier days they encircled bathing beaches with steel cages, or called in the navy to drop depth charges. Finally in the 1950s they stretched long nets around the circumference of the beach. That kept the sharks out but also accidentally caught and killed a large number of other marine life.

Now it appears the Natal Shark Board has a better solution. They have developed and patented what they call the Protective Ocean Device (POD). The POD puts out electrical impulses that irritate the shark's nose, which is sensitive to muscle movements in nearby fish and ultrasensitive to electrical currents. The new device, says writer Hugh Dellios, "will surround its owner with a low-level electric pulse that annoys the shark and persuades it that it isn't bearing down on a seal or other favorite taste-treat."

And so it is now possible with technology to drive away sharks.

Far more dangerous than a shark is our enemy Satan. But God has given us sure ways to repel his attacks: the Lord's name and Word, our righteousness and faith.

Choice Contemporary Stories & Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers
Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 260.