“I don’t like spiders and snakes, and that ain’t what it takes to love me…” Truer words have never been spoken (or sung). I am scared of those creatures; they absolutely give me chills. And there is such an abundance of them in south Alabama, I can’t get away from them! I am a firm believer that the only way I like to see a spider or a snake is dead.
And then I read a book to Abbey the other night…
Silly as it sounds, this classic storybook about a spider named Helen that takes up residence at a zoo and begins helping the animals with their “fly problem” reminded me that God doesn’t make mistakes. In the book, one of the zookeepers sees the spider web in the corner of the camels' cage one day and tears it down with his broom. Days later, the animals are miserable again, as the flies have returned to torture them. It is then that the zookeeper makes the connection about how helpful the spider can be.
“Helen went from one building to another,
spinning webs and eating up all the flies.
The zoo became a peaceful place.”
While this story gives me a wonderful excuse as to why I have so many cobwebs in my house, there is a deeper story here; one that makes me a bit uncomfortable. I really do consider myself a tolerant person because of all the different places I have lived and all the different cultures I have experienced, but how often have I looked down on another human being because they didn’t look right or smell right or act right? I hope the answer is not very often, but if I’m being honest here—I have done it one too many times. And I am ashamed and have been very convicted as I formulated this post in my head and heart over the last couple of weeks.
You just never know who God will send to test you, so I have got to learn to not be so quick to judge. Because of my troubled past, I do not do the 'trust' thing too well. I tend to judge first and get to know people later. Sometimes this is spiritual discernment, but most often it’s just plain ol’, ugly prejudgment. God only knows how many messages I have missed because my heart was closed. Forgive me, Lord. I really don’t want to miss another opportunity to show mercy and grace to others, or to receive what You have for me from them.
Even if how You have them packaged is not what I would be naturally be drawn to. . .
"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.' " Matthew 25: 37-40
~Be Nice to Spiders, by Margaret Bloy Graham, Harper Collins:1967,