Hanging by a Thread

On a warm October day I came across this leaf dangling above a popular local walking trail. Suspended by an invisible thread crafted by an equally invisible spider, this anomaly nearly landed in my hair. Obviously, I stopped to study the leaf, and more importantly, the source of its suspension. With just the right angle of light I saw a single strand of silk draped from tree to tree. The architect/builder was not in sight. I like the contrast of colors and shapes in this scene…such pleasant diversity.

I suddenly thought about how many of us seem to be ‘hanging by a thread’ while traversing this strange road of infection, politics, financial uncertainties, civil unrest, etc. For some, hanging on to normal is a full-time task while others carry-on without too much difficulty. Regardless of one’s station in life, all of us are affected by this period of uncertainty. I suppose we could take solace in the fact that others have experienced similar struggles in the past. However, this truth doesn’t seem to bring much comfort.

What should provide some consolation is knowing that these gray days will pass, as they always do. Waiting is difficult. Peace can be sought in many places and in many ways. I find mine through faith in an Omniscient and Omnipotent power. I hope you find peace.

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte's Web 2 I came upon this spider and her web during an early morning outing when the dew was heavy and the sun shone through the trees. Upon snapping a few photographs my mind immediately recalled the wonderful children’s book, Charlotte’s Web, written by E.B. White in 1952. This well-renowned book of many awards and untold numbers of happy readers has thrilled children and adult alike since it was first published. Mr. White was born and lived in New York, served in WWI, attended Cornell University, was a journalist for the United Press and the New Yorker magazine (among others), author of many adult books and three beloved children’s books: Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan. We lost E.B. to Alzheimer’s in 1985.

He was a brilliant writer who occasionally conveyed his messages in unconventional ways. Take Charlotte’s Web, for instance. As one website author stated, “She manipulates events which lead to the outcome that we read about. The story of Charlotte’s web is written by Charlotte in order to save Wilbur”. White was quite humble and he avoided public recognition despite the plethora of awards he received over the many years he wrote. In this case, he hid behind Charlotte. It is rather interesting to note that his initials are an anagram of WEB. I told you he was brilliant.

I am reminded of the parallel between Charlotte’s love for Wilbur and her ultimate sacrifice and that of Christ. Just as Charlotte gave many signs by using her web-writing ability to create affection for the doomed pig, so Jesus gave us many signs by using parables, miracles and encounters to create affection for His Father in Heaven. He, too, sacrificed his life, and just as Charlotte’s offspring continued to leave a living legacy through their births, so Christ gives those who are drawn to Him eternal life.

The Imposter & Engineer

9-9-14With the advent of Autumn just around the calendar’s corner, all manner of night fliers are out gathering the last bit of nature’s nectar and insects. Last night as I opened the door to our deck, I witnessed this White-lined Sphinx ‘hummingbird’ moth feasting on the petunias in our flower basket. Some of these imposters can have wingspans up to five inches, and can look like the genuine hummingbird…this species not so much. However, at first glance I thought it was a hummingbird as it fluttered from flower to flower. As you can tell, the season for petunias is nearing its end.9-9-14 002Another example of nature’s ever-changing dynamic is the proliferation of garden variety spiders which multiple toward the end of summer. I almost walked right into the center of this web this morning. Fortunately, I caught a glimmer of reflective light from one of the silk strands and stopped. My camera was nearby so I grabbed it and took a quick shot of this waiting predator and his intricate silken web. Amazing is an appropriate word for what a spider can create in a single several-hour period, and then repeat the same construction night after night. I’m fatigued just thinking about the amount of effort that went into creating this masterpiece of structural and functional design. It pays to be aware of one’s immediate surroundings. An added benefit to being a witness of nature’s unfolding drama is to have a child-like fascination for God’s creation. Such fascination enhances the experience…just ask a child what she is thinking when she studies a tadpole in shallow water or a little boy as he pokes at a turtle to make him move. They are simply amazed, as am I.