A few nights ago, we received a frantic phone call from our daughter Ashley. She is currently a student at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. What kind of crisis would cause a 21 yr old to call her daddy after 10 o’clock at night? A bug. Yep…seems she had her first encounter with a uniquely southern critter known by most folks as a “Palmetto Bug”, but that is just a nice way of saying SUPER BIG FLYING COCKROACH.
She ranted and wailed about the despicable intruder. We tried to reason with her, “just kill it”, “put a book on it”, “it won’t bite”, “calm down”….but she was not to be consoled. She was almost to tears, actually tears may have been shed, and more than a bit freaked out. She was being unreasonable…refusing to kill it, refusing to be in the room with it, wanting to move home, insisting a friend come over after he got off work to kill it for her…we chastised her for be so ridiculous and even made fun of her crazy antics regarding this pesky creature. She just needed to get over it, kill the bug, and move on with her life…at least that is how I felt prior to last night.
I was doing laundry and talking with my mom on the phone when I saw it….THE BIGGEST SPIDER I have ever seen outside of the entomology exhibit at the Smithsonian! Now, keep in mind that I am not squeamish. I have dealt with many a yucky bug or creature in my lifetime. I do not relish squashing “crunchy” bugs, but in general, I am ready to kill or remove any creepy crawly thing that invades my home. So when I tell you this spider was HUGE and menacing I am not exaggerating. I was more than a little “freaked out”, as my poor mom can attest to since I spent a lot of time ranting and wailing over the phone to her about my unwelcome guest. I wanted to cry, it was so scary and startled me so much. I soon became unreasonable….I considered leaving the house until my husband got home, but he was out of town, I thought about calling a neighbor over, but it was late and by now, I had visions of spiders everywhere outside, “would police come if I called them?” I wondered for a brief moment.
A half of can of spider spray: $2.50
Calories burned by aerobic cardio activity while “dealing with spider”: 300
New perspective on my daughters palmetto bug distress: PRICELESS
After last night I could not help but think of how much her heart pounded, how she wanted to cry and how unnerved she had been the night of her bug encounter…I now had a much better understanding for what she was feeling . Now I “get” just how she felt that night. If I had had, my GIANT SPIDER experience prior to her call there is no doubt I would have handled her crisis with more understanding and grace. I would have empathy.
Empathy, being able to share another’s feelings…that is just what our Christ has for us. He knew suffering, frustration, exhaustion, disappointment, loss of loved ones, discouragement, and grief. When I call on Him in the midst of a crisis…suffering, frustration, exhaustion, disappointment, loss of loved ones, discouragement and grief…He “gets” it, He understands how I feel. He responds with understanding and grace.
I really want to make fun of you both, but will refrain because it seems like God is having some fun in the lessons department this week and I don’t want to be singled out for some empathy schooolin’.
I often think about Jesus crying for Lazarus. It gives me great comfort to know He grieved just like I do.
I was thinking of other areas I could use some empathy. I guess the disciples were not unlike a herd of teenagers…
I have come to know so much that the Lord knows our sufferings intimately. We are drawn to those that have suffered as we are in order to receive validation. Our Lord knew that before He created us and who better to run to for understanding and validation that Him.
Also, Ashley should have just called her favorite Aunt Steph and she would have received the empathy and consoling she so desperately needed. I could have even given her many unknown tips on how to handle these creatures. I will give her a call this weekend….
You had better call my granddaughter and apologize. Aunt Steph might have given her empathy and consoling, but she is just as freaked out about bugs as you two.
Oh, Teri. Do remind me to share with you my spider experience in college. I have complete EMPATHY for Ashley… I hate squashing “crunchy” bugs, especially spiders.
I have to tell you that Scott really impressed me at the reunion. He refuted all attempts to make fun or your spider story and fully suported your description of the creature. What a good husband you have!