What a sad story emerged from Campbellton, New Brunswick, last week. Two little boys were spending the night at a friend’s house. The friend’s father, Jean-Claude Savoie, owns an exotic pet store and was apparently keeping a 14-foot-long African rock python in his home. During the night, while the boys slept, the python got loose from his glass enclosure, crawled through the ventilation system, and landed in the living room where the boys slept. It was then that, incredibly, he took the lives of the boys. Reports indicate the children had been to Savoie’s farm earlier in the day and had played with llamas, goats, horses and dogs, but had not bathed. Officials speculate that the python probably mistook the boys for prey, thanks to their scent. The parents must be grief-stricken and the snake-owner devastated (via http://www.cbsnews.com).
Perhaps what makes this so tragic is that it involves something physical, that can be seen or at least visualized. Yet, an infinite number of times over daily, a greater tragedy is occurring. Children are being assaulted by “that serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). But because his deadly work is done upon souls and not bodies, it is so easy to ignore. Children are placed by their parents into circumstances that expose them to this dangerous predator with seemingly little thought to the consequences. Parents allow the “scent” of the world to be left upon their children, allowing them to see and hear worldliness, become comfortable with it, and do nothing to be cleansed from it. God has made moms and dads the guardians of their children’s lives, whether it is their entertainment, friends and associations, activities, education, or the like. We are responsible for guiding them toward truth and away from error.
Do we ever, rather than taking that stewardship seriously, become lax and careless? We sing, “This world is not my home,” but are we helping to make our precious heritage cozy in its arms? May we all resolve to protect our children from the “evil one,” appreciating the gravity of what is at stake.