Many of my friends will probably giggle at this blog post because this isn’t the first time I’ve written about the Spiritual Influence of Bugs. The first time was in my book, God’s Clue, in which a cicada taught the great spiritual lessons of death.
Some who know me even more intimately know that this is an ironic blog post because for most of my childhood and adolescence, I feared spiders! They seemed to jump out at me from every place I was, scaring me senseless and giving me nightmares. The final straw for me was when I was in my 20s and living in a rental house that ended up being infested with poisonous brown recluse spiders.
Fast forward, now in my 40s and with 2 young daughters of my own, each petrified of spiders for no apparent reason. Imagine my surprise when they would call me in to “take care of” even the smallest of 8-legged monsters.
“How can you be scared of this?” I’m thinking to myself, “Don’t you know there are spiders FAR more scary than this in the world?” Of course I would have to be insane to mention this to my trembling 8-year-olds.
One day, I noticed a spiderweb in my bathroom window, entangled around the lotion bottle and face wash. I wiped everything down and went on my way. Then a couple of days later, I noticed that the webs were back, and I thought to myself that there must be tiny spider living nearby to make these tiny webs.
I looked around the window and discovered the little culprit hanging upside down over a pile of dead ants. I had missed it because it was tucked into the corner of the window sill behind the lotion bottle. I was amazed to see this little spider was flourishing so well on the constant supply of ants coming in through a crack in the window. However, I also knew that this little spider’s food source would soon be drying up as there would be no more ants (we’ll just call that an act of God).
I could have swept her up and tossed her out, but my parent-intuition-sense was tingling so I decided to invite the spider to stay and help my kids to get acquainted with our new nesting-neighbor. At first, the girls were quite uncomfortable with the idea of going to the bathroom alone with a spider nearby.
Then they decided to do what they do to every animal/bug/plant that they come into contact with and name her. They called her “Sheba” and from then on they talked about her as if she was the next best thing in the world besides ice-cream. They would even try to find live little bugs to drop into her web to make sure that she stayed healthy.
With no new food source coming in, I asked the girls if they thought she knew that food was hard to find and if she was worried about where her next bug would come from? This caused a flurry of conversation because of course the girls were worried that she would waste away of starvation.
Together we decided to move her outside to one of the hanging plants on the deck. There she could build a web and catch lots of bugs and get really big.
On the big moving day, we took Maggie’s bug catcher into the bathroom. I told the girls that Sheba would be frightened to suddenly see this bug catcher coming at her and would probably try to run away. Sophie told Sheba that she needn’t worry. I asked Sophie if she thought Sheba understood that we wanted to help her?
Of course, Sheba at first did run the other way, but I was gentle and scooped her up as slowly as I could and she actually hung onto some webbing that I scooped up as well. I took her outside and lowered onto the plant. She gingerly walked over the leaves and stood quietly for a bit.
“Do you think she knows this is a better place than the one she was in before?” I asked the girls.
Both of the girls discussed whether they thought the spider was aware that she was indeed in a better place. Sometimes we are just like the little spider when things come out of nowhere that are hard to deal with. Things happens to us sometimes like we have to move or change schools or a friend moves away or a family member gets sick. Like the spider, we want to avoid the unusual and scary change that is headed our way.
But if we hang on, and let that change carry us to our new destination, we might just discover that it was better than what we had all along.
Of course this makes perfect sense, when you see it from the perspective of a spider. 😉