The Moral of the Cockroach {Being Human & Screaming for Help}

I have a confession to make.

I have never seen a cockroach.

I grew up in Seattle and there are plenty of creepy crawlies that make their way into places they shouldn’t.  But cockroaches are not one of them.

Since moving to Los Angeles fifteen years ago, I’ve braced myself for the day I would finally meet up with the infamous bug.  I’ve waited…and waited…and waited…and no sighting.

Until this last weekend…

It’s as if the specie had been scheming its timing for an introduction when I would be my most vulnerable. Oh no, I had not been waiting for the cockroach…it had been waiting for me.

Waiting for me to be sitting unsuspectingly and uh-um…exposed, in a hotel bathroom.  {It’s important to tell you that this happened in a hotel…I do not, and I repeat, I do not have cockroaches in my house.}

At first, all I saw were the antennae…but then, the entire body emerged and it was huge.  I’m not exaggerating when I say this, the gigantic insect ran straight for me.   I think he was even pointing his antennae at me, like a marksman aims his rifle.  No fear of the light in this cockroach.  As if on a combat mission, it charged at me…screaming.  Yes, the cockroach was sprinting for me and there was screaming.  Loud, screeching, terrified screaming.

Oh wait.  That was me screaming.

I am not a screamer.  I grew up in a home with five sisters, no brothers, and I believe my dad decided early on that if he was going to survive the estrogen, he would need to get an early advantage. Therefore, our home was declared, and strictly enforced as a “Scream Free Zone.”

Yet, here I was with age 40 a few miles back in my rear view mirror, screaming about a bug.  Emotionally zigzagging between terror and shame.  

My night of cockroach torture ended with my hero husband rescuing me from the diabolical cucaracha, but the memory of the evening has kept me thinking.

Why do terror and shame always find a way of creeping up on us?  We know that in Christ we are more than conquerors.  We believe that even in our weakness, Christ is our strength.  Even when we fail, we are assured that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

And yet…We’re human.  We’re not finished products yet.  Fear still looms.  Shames still visits.  …and we scream.  We scream because we’re human.

It’s okay.   Jesus came to rescue humans.  Your screams are reminders of why you needed saving.   Without Jesus life would only hold terror and shame.  But because of Jesus, these patrons of the past are just two old cockroaches that are going to scatter around until they are permanently stomped out…and flushed away {yes, flushed} by the power of the gospel at work in our hearts.

Maybe you’re not a screamer…but you wish you were.  Sometimes we are too ashamed to ask for help when we need it.  Rather than owning up to the reality of our humanity, we hide and suffer alone.  Stuck.  Silent.  Thinking we’re the only ones with terror and shame.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Make a confession to someone.  It’s okay to need help.

I don’t know what might be bringing you fear or shame.  Don’t feel silly.   Don’t feel defeated.  Remember Jesus.  Remember His strength.  Remember that He has assured you it is okay to be human…He is here to help you.   Go ahead and scream for help.  I won’t judge you…either will He.

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