No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. That's a picture of a shirt hanging in a garden. My dad's shirt in his garden, to be exact. I actually took this shot on a visit in July, but as long as anything is left growing in the garden, the shirt will stand guard.
We never know what project Dad might be at work on or what problem he may be solving when we arrive for a visit. Kelli will never forget the year she and I pulled in the drive and caught Grandpa on the tail-end of a squirrel skinning. He was stretching the hide on some kind of contraption out by the wood pile. The shirt in the garden is tame by comparison but still a sight that made me take a second look and start asking questions.
As some of you may have already guessed, this is Dad's version of a scarecrow. He's been trying to trick some pesky garden-eating deer into thinking someone is standing there -- and it's working. Not just the sight of a potential enemy keeps them away, but the scent as well.
I didn't realize scent was part of Dad's scheme until I heard one of the grandkids announce one morning, "Grandpa's stripping down outside!" Come to find out, it was just his shirt (thank goodness!). He was replacing the one that had been hanging in the garden for a few days with the sweaty one he had been working in. Tricky, tricky Grandpa :) The result? So far, my dad has outwitted the deer (except for the night the shirt got blown away when the remnants of Ike swept through Missouri. Some of his green beans were missing the next morning!).
Too bad deer aren't the only ones susceptible to trickery. The Bible teaches we have an enemy, an enemy to our souls, who is doing all he can to scheme against us -- to keep us from knowing God, to keep us from living for Him. Ephesians 6:11 speaks specifically of the devil's schemes, and 1 Peter 5:8 instructs us to stay alert because "[our] enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Sometimes he's hard to recognize, though. The apostle Paul taught that "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Are we wise to Satan's schemes in our lives? Or is he managing to outwit us with his tricks and his masquerades? What are you doing to stay alert to the tactics of the enemy? How do you take your stand against him? What has God taught you about dealing with Satan? Share with a comment, please. Maybe what you say will be just the word someone needs to hear.