I needed that spider.

I am in a season of walking a tightrope – a balancing act between contentment and disappointment. After an extremely frustrating day of work, which is the source of this discontentment that I’m trying to be okay with, I got home and got dressed in my shorts, t-shirt, and rain boots (always fashionable) to mow my yard. I put my phone down on the table next to my back door, as I always do before mowing, and my hand touched something. I looked around and realized it was the edge of a spider web. Inside the web was a ridiculously large spider. This web was attached to my lawnmower.

When I was roommates with my sister, years ago, we had a spider like this outside our dining room window. Just like today, the spider at Melissa’s house had a huge web with a zigzag design in it. The spider itself is/was also pretty. Melissa named that spider “Artis the artist” due to the fancy web. Our neighbor, Cheryl, would come over but refused to go to the front door because she was terrified of Artis. One day, Melissa noticed Artis was bouncing on the web like a trampoline, so she got close to watch him. I mean, he was calm all other times. He barely moved. But he was playing on a trampoline, so this was something to see. The next thing Melissa knew, Artis launched himself off the trampoline and started marching across the front yard, directly toward Cheryl’s house. I think Melissa then found something to spray Artis with to kill him, because we love Cheryl and we didn’t need him coming after her. RIP Artis.

So here I was this evening after a horrible day with very tall grass and my very own Artis attached to my lawnmower. I didn’t want to kill him, because I’ve become strangely humane toward most creatures, even the many scary ones I don’t like. I’d prefer to not kill them. Plus, my Artis today was big and that would be quite the murder scene. It would be way too messy. I thought of my friend, Valerie. She is a friend to all creatures and lives nearby. In fact Valerie and I had a photography class together in college and she once rescued a huge spider from the hallway and transferred it outside like a weirdo. I texted Valerie a photo of my spider and asked if she was willing and able to humanely relocate him to the woods. She told me she was on her way.

I learned that “he” is actually a “she”. Valerie is such a friend to all creatures that she knows things like this. So she rescued her, capturing her in a container. She told me later that she released her onto a tree in her front yard. Who else does that?

Anyway, after the spider was caught, Valerie and I were in the yard with Sayid and then my neighbor, whom I hadn’t met, walked behind my fence to retrieve his two kittens who were playing in the woods behind my house. Sayid was interested in these kittens. My neighbor, Valerie, and I all introduced ourselves and we visited for probably half an hour while the kittens chased each other up and down trees and Sayid relaxed in the yard and watched them. I finally had to cut our visit short to get my grass cut before the sun went down.

When I finished my yard work, I was making my way inside and I realized how much my mood had improved. I have not had this bad of a day at work in a while. I carried the stress and irritation home with me. But then God used a scary spider as a catalyst to change the course of my day. I got to see a friend of mine for a spur of the moment visit. She even brought me a bag of coffee as a gift. I got rescued from a spider. A spider got rescued from me. Neither of us were traumatized. I met a friendly neighbor. Sayid enjoyed watching the kittens play. (So did I.) My yard looks lovely. I’m feeling grateful. For a spider.

What a strange way God chose to redirect this day. If He can use a spider to improve my day, I can be sure He can do strange and wonderful things to turn this career situation into something good. When the feeling of being stuck takes over and my balance tips off center and leans more toward discontentment and disappointment, I’ll just have to trust that God hears my prayers and remind myself of my spider, as strange as this thought may be.

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