Sunday, October 21, 2007

Are we all 8 legged freaks??

Well, my tarantula and I have a love/hate type of bond--I love watching her, I hate doing just about anything else--opening the cage, feeding her, thinking about holding her, etc.

So, you can imagine my surprise at my own attachment to her when I glanced by her cage to find her belly up, listless, all 8 legs reaching for heaven, while laying in a little self-spun web "grave" cradle. I thought, "How sad, this gives new meaning to the phrase: 'Make your bed and lie in it.' She made her own little resting place."

My heart sank at the thought of Princess exiting the world--not just because I'd have to spend $25 for her replacement--but because, in some small way, we bonded. Not that she ever crawled on me or cuddled, but life in any form connects with life--a dependent on you becomes close no matter what the species (especially considering my extreme fear of arachnids). I pondered a little funeral & decided to check online at the appropriate grieving process for a spider owner. This was new to me...

Well, I'm glad I checked or Princess would've wondered why she was trapped in a shoebox underground when she came to strength from MOLTING. What an amazing process--they fast, then make themselves completely vulnerable by laying on their backs, "unzip" their exoskeleton to make room to grow (the new body already underneath), pump fluid to remove the old body, and emerge as a delicate, shiny, vulnerable, and most importantly, "more adult" like spider.

As a nerd and a teacher, I captured it all on video clips and I sat in awe at God's process for tarantulas. With fascination mounting, I wondered at the growth process for human hearts. Are we any different?? Just like all spiders know how to do this instinctively, I feel that we humans do some of the same things, if we are willing to grow. What growth does not happen without a little vulnerability toward God--you choose to spin the cradle and lie in it, belly up...or not. (Although I believe you end up on your back at some point whether you choose to have a cushiony preparation or a hard landing...) At that point, you experience the process of shedding old ideals, convictions, heart strings, and habits. The real (new & improved and ever so slightly more "adult-like") you is revealed in its fresh glory. Recovery time is important as new ways are challenged by old mechanisms, leaving you vulnerable until convictions strengthen and your heart resolves the growth by God's grace.

There are shreds of evidence that a spider is about to molt...dull color, missing hairs on the abdomen, etc. as it prepares to grow. I believe the same for a human heart. Sometimes things seem the lowest right before they begin to ascend. And here I thought my little Princess just had the mange...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I've had some weird experiences regarding memories of my dad, and I have been thinking alot about him. This summer, I was reading Harry Potter: Book 7 (awesome, BTW) and remember writing about my dad. I revisited this entry today and thought I'd share...

There is a part of [Harry Potter] I truly identify with. When he is around others who want to understand but can't...when he thinks about [his deceased parents] often, but feels angry and guilty at times. Some part of you is torn apart when you lose a parent--the part of you that looks like them is lost...but your reflection in the mirror is your living reminder of who they were in a breathing body...good and bad morphs together, blurred, and you have faint memories of what you ought to loathe, but can't...the good blurred in like words on the tip of your tongue...barely there, but your sub-conscious mind has a hold of them... you long for more moments with them, but know that new knowledge only comes with others who knew their past-tense--a person you never they are describing a stranger who was supposed to have birthed you. The feeling is unreal, really...unable to be put in words, but understood, from one orphan to another, an unspoken bond that allows you to relax a little, knowing that they "get" you without words...a sign of relief from having to pretend you are "over" their death. Truth be told, you are never "over" losing a parent (or anyone, for that matter)...all the days of your life, you grieve the lost moments of the future as you stare at them in the mirror.

Monday, October 01, 2007

My Hol(e)y Cloak

Just some more thoughts from my journaling this summer:

I realize my faith is in the process of "becoming real." When I first came to you, God, it is like other Christians handed me a well-meaning cloak of righteousness. Designed to cover all the ugly roots growing out of me, I was thrilled to wear it. In fact, I took pride in how it looked on me, forgetting what it was covering. Over time though, in moments of stress, fatigue, trial...those roots (which had been growing faithfully) started peeking through.

Frantically, I tried to cover them with the tail of my cloak, or I would go to another conference and earn a "patch" for my cloak. More pride swelled from the "out of sight, out of mind" righteousness. Then, I realized the roots had grown out so far, they could no longer be concealed. I couldn't hide behind quiet times, Christian checklists, scripture memory, Christian lingo, a 'gold star' perfect attendance record at church, or leading others.

It was time for the cloak to be ripped off. In one fell swoop, frustration and feeling fake prompted the revealing motion, and my ugly roots scared every Christian who still proudly wore their cloaks. Only Jesus was smiling--well, so were the former 'cloak wearers' who had mustered the courage to face the process of root pulling (I think it is a favorite pasttime of the Lord's, by the way!) And so begins the process of my faith "becoming real," as Jesus asks me to bring each ugly thing before Him and request the divine help to uproot it. Then, and only then, can I help You [Jesus] heal others as their roots are ripped out.

I then gave my tattered cloak to CCA...just kidding. I burned it with holy fire...