Discerning Spiders


By: Judith Hargett

I was about to crawl into bed . . . no, wait.  Crawling sounds like I’d worked hard all day and could barely move.  I’d also better eliminate “climb into” as an inaccurate descriptor.  Let’s just say I was slipping . . . no, I was just entering the bed recently when I noticed a tiny spider advancing up the wall behind the headboard.  I am not particularly afraid of spiders.  After all, the lovely Charlotte of Charlotte’s Web was one of my favorite childhood characters.  Still, my imagination quickly positioned this arachnid stranger directly above me on the ceiling where it would parachute down as soon as I closed my eyes and dangle right above my face waiting for my eyes to open, or worse, my mouth.  To thwart Spider’s plan, I grabbed a coaster from the nightstand and gave the invader a little shove.  Spider hit the floor running and disappeared beneath the nightstand.  My concern immediately switched to my shoes which were next to the bed; a potentially cozy habitat for the many-legged nuisance.

But back to Charlotte for a moment.  If you are familiar with her story, you may remember that Charlotte was a barn dwelling spider.  She befriended the very lonely Wilbur, a young pig being fattened for the farmer’s table.  Charlotte saved Wilbur by spinning admirable comments about him in her web, such as “Some Pig.” That got me to wondering.  What would I like a thoughtful and creative spider to spin in a web about me?

Since I believe Jesus sacrificed Himself to save me, I don’t have to worry about being fattened up by sin so satan can feast on me, for as John tells us in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  Confessing sins right away makes for a good spiritual diet plan; keeps us from getting weighed down with guilt and enticed to gorge on a steady helping of misconduct.

I’m going to look in Galatians for some good words for my web.  Let’s see.  Romans, then the two Corinthians . . . ah, here’s what I’m looking for in Galatians 5:22: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  Hmm, a believer’s life should bear all that fruit, though we know the Lord places a special emphasis on love.  What would a discerning spider write after observing me when others weren’t around to hold me accountable?

While considering what the convicting answer might be to this question, my husband appeared and asked why my shoes were on top of the furniture.  I told him about the huge spider that was hiding beneath the nightstand.  (It had grown very large in my mind by this time.)  Husband retrieved a flashlight and went in search of the potential perpetrator.  He didn’t find Spider but a great deal of dust was located.  (I long ago realized I was losing the war against dust.  Occasionally I will engage it in a skirmish, but the enemy has had centuries of training and continues to out maneuver me.) With Spider at large, I decided if I woke up one morning to find a web stretched across the ceiling with the words “Loving Human” woven into it, I would be so very pleased.

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