June 9, 2010

A Plague of Flies

I had friends over one summer night several years ago. It was getting late and everyone was starting to talk about leaving and as a couple of them were starting to gather their things, something strange happened. I noticed a fly land on the wall opposite me. Then another, and another, and another...soon there were dozens of black flies on my yellow wall.

I sat frozen on the sofa, mortified. What could be drawing so many flies inside my house? Was I a lousy housekeeper? Worse, had something died in my wall?

If anyone else noticed, they didn't say anything. We all stood up as everyone gradually began to pick up their things and move towards the front door, still visiting. I breathed a sigh of relief as the last friend walked out and I headed back to the wall of flies. They were still there, and even as I took a newspaper and began to swat them, none flew away. It was as though they were drugged as I killed them, one by one, and occasionally two by two.

I never said anything about it to anyone until a couple of weeks later, as I was eating lunch with two coworkers and out of the blue, one of them asked, "Have either of you noticed anything strange with flies?"

The other two of us replied in unison, "You, too?"

We all lived several miles apart, yet we had each experienced the same thing, as a number of flies had come into our houses out of nowhere, landed a wall, and stayed there as though they were paralyzed while we swatted them. (Clearly all three of us would harm a fly. I'm sorry, but they carry nasty stuff and there were a LOT of them.) We laughed as one of the women told us she had called her husband in a panic, practically screaming into the phone, "You have to come home right now! There are flies in the house!"

All of us had been embarrassed about it, wondering what we had done to cause this plague of flies to descend on our homes. I still don't know what the deal was with those darn flies, but it just took one person to speak up and let us know that we weren't alone...someone else had faced the same thing.

How often do we carry something around inside that embarrasses us? How many times do we refuse to speak up because we think nobody else has the same problem? It just takes one person to start...


Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. ~ I Thes. 5:11


  1. Good post. Sorry about the plague of flies, but yes, sometimes we are ashamed of sharing our inner thoughts and problems. Good encouragement to be more aware of our inner life.

  2. That is so weird!!! But I love how you were able to turn it into such a thought-provoking blog post. So are you saying I shouldn't feel shame about my recent plague of ants?

  3. I had a friend who experienced the same problem, and it turned out that he lived near a pig-rendering plant and there was some sort of problem there. Are you near anything like that?

    And yes, sometimes we are embarrassed to share things, only to find that other people have the same problem -- whatever it is...

  4. Nope, no animal related activities are nearby, and there were 6 or 7 miles between all 3 of our houses. This was about 7 years ago, and it's never happened again, so whatever it was went away.

  5. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog today. That's freaky about all the stoned flies on the wall. I would have panicked. Don't be embarrassed about it, those things happen sometimes and they multiply so fast you can't help it, but I understand the feeling. I live in the NYC on the first floor of our building and cockroaches are pretty common here. I keep reminding myself it's not a hygiene issue and that they're shelter seeking insects, but one day I was hosting a lunch at my apartment and a roach crawled up my friends leg and caused a scene. I was mortified! We called an exterminator the next day and it's been clear ever since, but I've never lived that moment down.

  6. that's pretty funny and so true! what are we so afraid

    here's mine: FLEAS!!! the fleas like my house but not
    my dog. it's been an ordeal, but i think i have them

    hey margaret, thank you so much for voting for sunday.
    i know it is a horrible trial, and it means the world to us
    that you persevered!!!!

    man, do we owe you big.

  7. What an odd occurrence, but enlightening in the sharing.

  8. Oh my gosh... I had that happen once too... only there were dozens of flies - I killed them, and the next day there were dozens more! Finally after battling them for 3-4 days they were gone and have not returned. But it FREAKED ME OUT! Now every year when I see a fly in the house I just about panic. I still don't know where they came from.... and you're right - I was MORTIFIED to tell anyone... so the point of your post is very well taken.

    It's so true that when we find that other people share our quirks, our hurts, our shame, our sins, our struggles, our failures, etc... we feel less alone - we less "bad" ... and it makes it a little easier to trust that God knows every dark corner of our soul and loves us anyway, because we know that He surely loves the other person that way.