One thing my friends know about me is that I’ve never had a really warm place in my heart for God’s little creepy crawly critters. It’s safe to say I haven’t been tempted to collect insects, pin beetles to a board, or even to actually acknowledge the rightful place of four, eight, and many-legged creatures in the world…until now.
When I first came to Costa Rica, I was pretty sure this would be a troublesome issue. I figured the landscape was littered with leggy specimens of the underworld and I was somehow going to have to adjust. Well, the truth is there have been moments. The first time a couple geckos walked across my floor as though they really thought Geico scouts were in the house, I wasn’t inclined to chat or give them little overcoats. I mostly wanted to step around them and get them out the front door. Little did I know then how much I needed to appreciate their presence because they keep the population of less enjoyable insects from invading my space. This of course means, they now have my regard, if not my heart.
My biggest experience though happened one night, actually one early morning about 4AM, when something that sounded like a big hail storm hitting my tin roof woke me up. Thinking we were getting serious rain, I hopped out of bed to be sure the windows in my office were secured. It happens there is an outside light on that corner of my house and as I looked out expecting to see the rain coming down, I was instead assailed by what looked like thousands of cicada-like winged aliens, apparently bouncing off the tin roof at great speed as they gravitated toward the light. I suddenly felt like I was in the middle of an old Alfred Hitchcock episode as I imagined those critters sliding under the roof looking for a way in.
Feeling somewhat unbalanced by the whole thing, I jumped back into bed and hoped I would discover it was simply a bad dream. Morning came quickly since I couldn’t sleep very well, and I timidly peeked out of the covers expecting to see a war zone. Thankfully there were no critters winging across the runway of my tiled floors. In fact it seemed all was calm. Stepping gingerly outside, I saw only two or three of the invaders, wings down, little legs barely moving, a mere shadow of their former glory in tact. I was grateful to see them to realize I had not dreamed them up during the night. It turned out this fellowship of believers had actually never visited this garden before and though they made a big impression on me, that just wasn’t enough so they moved on to find converts elsewhere.
Now that I’ve been in Costa Rica awhile, I’ve witnessed the beauty of nature in ways that I only shuddered to think about before. I’ve seen incredible spider webs. I’ve seen how an insect slain on the battlefield of my floor the night before, is ceremoniously carried off by young troops by morning. I’ve seen the tiniest ants I can imagine carry a mammoth moth into their secret hide out in the wall, never to be seen again. It’s a reminder of how the God of details created a perfect plan for all His creatures. Each one is to benefit the others in some way.
Have I adopted any leggy new friends? Am I just like Cinderella knitting little sweaters for friendly geckos now? No! But I am more inclined to witness the industry of the world around my feet that lives and has its being because of the Creator who saw all of it was good. I recognize a balance and a form of beauty in all this, though I still prefer to keep most critters outside in the garden where God intended them to be.
Hey, I can’t change everything about me all at once! But, I can say with the writer of Genesis, “God made all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”
Wherever you are, bless all that God made because it is good. In fact, He designed all that He made to work together. What a perfect plan!