When I was much younger I remember there being a song by Jim Stafford in which he declared “I don’t like spiders and snakes…” I have a feeling that there are many who feel the same way about these creatures. For some reason a lot of people hate spiders and snakes. I will confess that at one time I did too. I disliked them because I was afraid of them. Part of this fear was instilled in me by others while I was a child. Watching horror movies that featured spiders and snakes probably didn’t help either. I suspect the biggest reason I feared and disliked them was I did not understand them.
In Rob’s last blog on this site he wrote about Death Valley’s pup fish and noted that they are good and valuable, if for no other reason, because God made them and declared them to be good. The same thing can be said for spiders and snakes, along with any other creature we may deem detestable or unlikeable. Every creature that exists on the earth is here because the Creator chose to make it. From this truth we can discern that every creature that exists also has a purpose. If we would only take the time to learn about those creatures we don’t like we would discover that each one has a beneficial role to play in their respective ecosystem. We might also be forced to admit they are beneficial to us.
It would help all of us to remember that everything that God has created manifests His glory. I have been reading a lot lately about Celtic Spirituality. Last night I came across a Celtic hymn in Carmina Gadelica that included these words: “There is no plant in the ground but is full of His virtue; there is no form in the strand but is full of His blessing. Jesu! Jesu! Jesu! Jesu! Meet it were to praise Him. There is no life in the sea; there is no creature in the river, there is naught in the firmament, but proclaims His goodness. Jesu! Jesu! Jesu! Jesu! Meet it were to praise Him. There is no bird in the wing, there is no star in the sky, there is nothing beneath the sun, but proclaims His goodness. Jesu! Jesu! Jesu! Jesu! Meet it were to praise Him.”
Each of our lives would be enriched if we could come to recognize that everything God made, including spiders and snakes, proclaims His goodness and can lead us to offer praise to Jesus. With that in mind, I encourage you to pray the prayer Thomas a’Kempis prayed long ago: “Lord God, make my heart straight in your sight, so that every creature will be to me a mirror of life, and a book of holy doctrine, for there is no creature so small or insignificant that it does not show forth and represent the goodness of God.”
(I took the spider, snake and wasp images shown above last week in Big Bend National Park.)