This summer a spider came to make its home outside my closet window. Not just any spider, mind you... A HUMONGOUS spider. She has a gold body with black stripes, and black legs with golden flecks sprinkled up and down them. We have loved her. I have a bench by the window, and Micah climbs up every morning to open the shutters and look out at the spider.
We have talked all about spiders. I have told her that spiders are arachnids, and that they have two body parts, unlike insects that have three body parts. I have also informed her of the differences in the number of legs between a spider and an insect. We have even been able to witness how she caught a fly in her web, only to find the fly mysteriously absent the following morning. (She's truly a humongous spider, so I'm not exaggerating when I say it only took the course of a day for the fly to be injested.) So, it has been educational, as well as a wonderful distraction for a busy two-year-old who loves to "do make-up" with Mom.
The web is absolutely incredible. It is so intricate in its design and covers an entire space between the eaves of the house, the window and the bushes. When we first saw it, Dave and I briefly considered getting rid of it. But, it occurred to us that in Mississippi in the heat of summer there are these horrible, large yellow flies... Yellow, biting flies to be precise. So, we quickly united in our adoption of the spider and decided to leave her alone. Our own personal guard spider...
Friday at school, a bee buzzed its way into my classroom. The kids managed to step on it, but it got stuck to a student's shoe, so I swooped in, tissue in hand, to remove it. Somehow, the stinger managed to poke through the Kleenex, and I got stung on the finger. Yes, I got stung by a dead bee. It wasn't too terribly bad, and I modeled semi-adult behavior by not falling to the floor grasping my finger while heaving in sobs... Which is kind of what I wanted to do. Ms. Leggett and Ms. Jordan (my dynamic teaching team) gave me lots of TLC, so I was able to struggle through the remainder of the day.
When I arrived home, Dave announced his plan to trim the azalea bushes out front. This is a chore he undertakes once a year in the fall, usually at Thanksgiving. This year, we will be in Birmingham for Thanksgiving, so he wanted to trim the bushes a little early. As we were talking, we both realized trimming the bushes would disturb our spider's home.
That night, somehow the two events weaved together in my brain to form a dream... Suddenly, I was alone in a large, grassy field when I noticed a swarm of bees coming. I was terrified, thinking of the swarms of African bees and how people had actually died from bee stings. I stood there absolutely frozen, watching the bees approach. As dreams have a tendency to make all things possible without the pesky interference of reality and possibility, my HUMONGOUS spider appeared and built an ENORMOUS web in front of me. The bees could not penetrate my spider's web. I was completely protected.
Later, it dawned on me this is how God works in my life. He is standing by watchful and ready to take an active part... To save me in an instant... To protect me from anything harmful. The bees of adversity cannot touch me because God is there, spinning His web of protection around me, ensuring I am safe. However, if I decide to get in there in an attempt to manage and control without first seeking guidance, I am apt to really screw it up. Like maybe managing and controlling the bushes? Thus, I'm sure if you drive by my house this afternoon, you will see perfectly manicured bushes, with the exception of one... The one outside my closet window where our own personal guard spider makes her home.