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.