Those of you who know me pretty well know that one of my requests for a future occupation in the Kingdom is to be in charge of knocking down and smashing into smithereens all the many idols here in Mexico. Idols of virgins and saints, ornate and simple, small and gargantuan. I’ve written about these spiritual realities before quite a bit.
I was blessed with some unanticipated practice towards that eventual role this past Monday. Mayra and I had begun a study with a couple, Alma and Jesús (really) about 4 months ago. The study only lasted about a month, but during our last study with them, both Alma (which means “soul” in Spanish) and Jesús (a common name in Spanish) both knelt by their sofa and trusted Christ. Or at least made a profession of faith. It’s really impossible to immediately know if their profession was real or not.
During the study we talked openly about a statue that was out in their patio area of La santa muerte, or Holy Death. It is an image of the Grim Reaper figure basically. In Latin America, death is not simply a metaphysical reality, she is a person. An Angel of Death. A personality. An estimated 3 million people now worship this image.
So much more to write about. Suffice it to say that Alma called us because her dog died suddenly, then all the fish in her fish tank. Her father apparently told her over the phone that she shouldn’t be surprised if she was giving death a place in her patio.
We know that images are nothing. Psalms 115, a portion of scripture that we read before destroying three images on Monday, reminds us that idols have eyes that can’t see, and ears that can’t hear. They in reminds the reader that God is a shield and help to those who trust in Him.
I don’t believe that God including “shield” three times in three verses (Ps. 115:9-11) is an accident. Although idols are nothing, the spiritual forces around them are very real. 1 John 4:4 is also a great verse. Greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.
Below, a picture of the figure that ended up smashed in a burlap bag.