This is pretty close to exactly what I saw two days ago as I glanced out my kitchen window towards my little farm. This is now the second time he (or a close friend of his) has visited my area. It gave me pause for sure because it was clear that this dude (I'm totally guessing on sex), while cute and cuddly looking at first glance, wasn't interested in a social visit. There were two things that made the presence of this fox even more unsettling than normal.
One, it was mid-day. It was a little overcast but the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and yet there he was, seemingly unworried by his lack of shadow or stealth. As I've reflected on this over the last few days I've been reminded that this is similar to satan's MO in our world today. Sin which used to be viewed as shameful was committed under the cover of darkness and secrecy but is now openly celebrated and encouraged for all to see. This idea has been perpetuated within the church as well under the "come as you are" mantra. Of course we should come as we are to Jesus to receive healing and forgiveness but we've confused "come as you are" with "stay where you are" and that idea isn't supported anywhere in Scripture. God calls us out of the darkness and into the Light of Christ not to parade our sin but to serve as an example to others of what a journey towards holiness looks like.
The second unsettling fact that Franklin (I decided to name the fox) reminded me of is that we've perhaps become too comfortable with sin crouching at our doors. This dude was super close to I'm sure what he would have considered a very generous lunch. To be fair to the fox (in case he reads this) he wasn't openly prowling and gave no impression of being on the hunt and in fact he wasn't even looking in the direction of my little farm...but it was clear as he sat resting in the neighbors yard that he was present.
I'm reminded of the passage from Genesis 4:7 (NASB) where God is challenging Cain to not allow his anger to get the best of him and lead him into sin. God says, "If you do well, will your face not be cheerful? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
It is easy to slip into sinful patterns when we allow sin to crouch at the door of our hearts. When we regularly expose ourselves to things that lead us down that road it's no wonder we struggle to resist temptation.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NASB) says, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world."
What are you and I doing to make opportunities for sin uncomfortable in our spaces? Before I had the chance to startle Franklin he sauntered away on his own but I regret that I missed the chance to make him uncomfortable in that space. If he's comfortable, he'll come back and perhaps next time he won't leave on an empty stomach. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.