Poison is a theme of my suspense-thriller, “THE POISON CUP.”
According to the dictionary, poison is a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism. When I think of poison, what comes to mind is the black widow spider hiding in a boot, or a rattlesnake lurking in tall grass. I hope never to encounter either except when the creatures are enclosed in a glass case at a museum, and I can stand on the outside and watch. To be safely close to such a deadly evil is fascinating and thrillingly spooky.
Some poisons, however, are not seen with the eye and therefore are harder to avoid. Gas is an example. My friend Donna recently experienced a close call before she discovered a gas leak in her apartment. A neighbor smelled the fumes and called the gas company.
Other poisons, while doing their deadly work unseen and unnoticed, are actually quite satisfying to their unsuspecting victim. No one in a healthy mental state would desire to poison him or herself, yet researchers tell us we murder our cells when we eat too much sugar. This refined sweetness is a substance we crave, one in almost everything we eat because it makes food taste good. However, while we are enjoying the taste, sugar causes oxidation which spawns rogue cells, or free radicals that rove about reeking damage to healthy cells, proteins, and DNA.
The poison of this unseen, insidiously satisfying type is a central theme of THE POISON CUP, the poison of unforgiveness. Corrie ten Boom, whose entire family the Nazis sent to a concentration camp for hiding Jews and murdered them during World War II, once said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other fellow dies.
In my novel, Pete Turner believes his prominent uncle Farley is responsible for the shameful and unpunished death of his younger sister ten years before the story begins. He believes he has a right to hate him and a duty to kill him. While Pete embraces the unforgiveness spawned by his hate for Farley, he cannot see how the anger and torment it produces is robbing him of a genuinely satisfying life with healthy, loving relationships. While he is salivating over fantasies of revenge, and plotting it, his unforgiveness is driving him toward danger and death. It’s the way satan seeks whom he may destroy while masking as an angel of light. Is unforgiveness robbing you or someone you know with its deceptively satisfying “taste,” while it is literally eating away on the inside?
Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist with a Ph.D. in Communication Pathology, has studied the brain for over 30 years. She now writes and speaks extensively about the science of negative thoughts and the destructive effects on the body. She describes how negative thoughts affect every cell in the body and how these thoughts can change our DNA. The good news is that positive thoughts from God’s Word can have restorative effects on the body and change DNA for the better. What she teaches is not theory. Scientists have equipment today with which they can observe the effects of thoughts on the brain which then send health-producing or disease-producing chemicals throughout the body.