Eight Legs Too Many

eight legs too many

eight legs too many
Me, holding Rosie

For such a small creature (most of the time) they sure do strike a chord of fear in our hearts.

I have spent much of my life dealing with a phobia about the little guys. I have been known to freeze in place at the sight of one. It matters not if it is a tiny one or a large one, I don’t like them at all. I have (finally) reached the age when I can kill one myself, but I was well into adulthood before I could do so.

I know I am not alone, but it does make me wonder why so many folks fear them. Most of the species of spiders are not even a threat to us. I think it may be more about the fact that they seem to sneak up on us when we least expect it. It’s the surprise as much as the existence of the spider itself. The most recent one in my house was hanging from the clothes rod in my closet. I opened the door to get a shirt and thought I saw “something” hanging there…It looked like a thread, but just to be sure, I turned on the light and saw the spider swinging from the strand of web.

I smacked it down to the floor and made sure that he was dead before I could move on to getting a shirt. I’m quite sure I even shuddered a bit. Not to offend any readers who do like spiders and even keep them as pets, they just aren’t for me.

Of everything else that I might consider frightening, these eight-legged little things are the reason that I turn on a light if I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I would rather brave the bright light at 2:00 AM than accidentally run into a spider. When I get ready to step into the shower, I glance around the room, scanning for any creepy crawly visitors. I don’t want to see one, but I have to look. They simply make me uneasy.

But, there comes a point when we must face down our fears. I did just that in Denver many years ago. While visiting the Butterfly Pavilion there, the attached nature exhibit boasted a rose-haired tarantula, appropriately named Rosie. I watched as a young boy held the spider and allowed it to crawl on his arm and then moved it to his leg. Feeling the pressure of an unspoken dare (as most boys and men are prone to do) I sat down and the caretaker placed Rosie in my hand. Only the picture proves that I actually did it.

I still don’t like spiders, but having held Rosie taught me something about myself. Fear and unknown expectation can be a healthy thing. It keeps us on our toes. Aware of our surroundings, awaiting the next surprise that might be lurking around the corner…

Maybe: A surprise birthday party. Love at first sight. A proposal. A military family member returning from overseas earlier than expected. A visit from a friend who you have not seen in a long time. A blessing in the form of a new grandchild. We have faith that everything will turn out for the best, even in the darkest of circumstances.

Faith helps us to always hope for good surprises and God provides them for us often; although it’s best to keep our eyes open, we know that there may just be a spider in the dark.