Friday, February 26, 2010

Lessons from my Tarantula

This morning from atop my slowly stiffening mattress I noticed an odd movement from the tarantula tank on my bedside desk. My chilean rose hair tarantula stood on her tip toes, oscillating her abdomen like a paintbrush as she drew web over the doorway to her log home. Her spinnerets (the sticks on her rear from which web emanates) stretched out in two different directions as she gracefully wove her acrobatic form up to the top of her little castle and down to the floor. I wish I were that limber.

This is the most work I have ever seen her do, I think. Her webbing seems to be some form of decoration, for she has never used it to actually catch anything or even to hide herself. Remember Jesus' "Do not worry about tomorrow" spiel, where he compared the flowers to Solomon and the birds to farmers? The birds do not sow or reap, he said, and yet they have food. The flowers don't stress out making themselves beautiful, and yet they will continue for all history to be the very emblem and metaphor for beauty itself. If he had come through a Latina in Chile instead of an Israeli girl in Bethlehem, perhaps he would have spoken about the tarantula. Perhaps.

My tarantula, tastefully christened Mary Jane, can go for two months without eating. (Talk about "waiting on the Lord" to renew your strength!) I feed her every two weeks, and expected that by the time two weeks completes she would begin prowling throughout the tank like a wolf spider, stalking her prey. At the very least I expected MJ to construct some sort of trap.

These tarantulas do not eat that way, however. They wait. Literally, this week from the moment I journeyed to Pete's Pet Forum to obtain the succulent crickets, to the moment the crickets entered the tank, to an hour afterward, she did not move. She did not worry--she trusted the very stupid crickets to come to her, and they did. One cricket actually LICKED HER FOOT. When the crickets completely trust her, then she strikes, putting them to rest in one quick, painless efficient blow before liquefying their innards into a delicious smoothie.

So to take a page out of Jesus' parable book--if God takes such good care of MJ, who does not hunt, fish, or even get out a blender to make a milkshake, will he not much more see to your every need, if you trust him?

Isaiah 40:31, Matthew 5,6

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