Creatures of the Good God Leap

Today, upon seeing a lady bug inch its way up a wooden railing I recalled this journal entry from exactly three years ago.

You wouldn’t think that Willie Nelson could cheer up a soul. But I feel like traveling on, on that is, that train they call the City of New Orleans. I feel like traveling a long way away. I want to feel the rhythm of steel wheels on steel track clacking beneath me. I want to feel it for miles of hours, and hours of miles. I want to travel anywhere, it doesn’t matter. Anywhere takes me away. Feeling this tells me I’m still alive.

And of course James Taylor’s music takes me, transports me, away. It opens up the possibility of leaping into the still blue breeze, climbing as high as two translucent wings can take me and drifting, catching up and down drafts without worrying the destination.

lady_bug_032705_04This is what the lady bug did. I watched from my lawn chair beside the barbecue. The spotted beetle landed for just a moment and before it had reasoned or made up its mind it flew straight up. Catching the wind about a story off the ground it sailed more than flew, weaving and swerving into a cloud covered sky, to a destination yet unknown. Considering its size, the distance it traveled was great. It was a leap I admired.

The French call the lady beetles les betes du bon Dieu or creatures of the good God and les vaches de la Vierge or cows of the Virgin. The Germans call them Marienkafer or Mary’s beetles. Lady beetles are primarily predators of aphids and other soft body insects. This makes them a friend of most gardeners. But when their life supplies thin out they don’t hesitate to fly and try another destination. And most any direction will do. Who knows if there are aphids here or there? The thing to do is to leap and to find out, not to stay and subsist on meager pickings, and die slowly.

Technorati Tags: , ,


  1. I”m so sorry, it’s me again…….but I must. You say that the thing to do when life supplies thin out is to leap out and find new ones, not to stay and subsist on meager pickings and die a slow death. I agree. But you could potentially get into sooooooo much trouble for this. Or at least I could, the way I understand and translate this poetic bit of writing. When a marriage is dead for example, and rescuisitation efforts have failed, I believe it’s right to leap out, but many Christians would still say that short of danger to your physical being, you should stay. But when a relationship of nurture has deteriorated to one of meager pickings or emotional harm, the damage to spirit can be as great as physical harm, and can in fact transmute into physical harm. Not that I believe it makes much difference which is being harmed, as I believe body and soul are intertwined…some will call this heresy again, but I wish someone had said this to me many, many years ago.

  2. I agree that SPIRITUAL harm can also be done by staying. Too often we have interpreted spiritual harm with going against “God’s will” which we “know” is that He will never bless those who divorce. But I would challenge our thinking. Psychologically we know that two people cannot survive in a relationship where one person is moving towards growth and one is choosing to not (the metaphor of a house divided against itself or the idea of unequally yoked would fit- having prayed the prayer of salvation does not guarantee that growth is happening). If the relationship moves to this point (or always was at this point) then how can spiritual health happen? All emotional/spiritual energy is focused on the pain and poison which leaves both partners in a place of spiritual immobilityor disintegration, not to mention what it does to the children. God allowed divorce because of the hardness of our hearts. Some people choose to not do the hard work of working on themselves so that the relationship can work (translated: non-growth or hardness of heart). None of us can soften another’s heart.

    Only the person(s) involved in the relationship can make the decision of when it’s time to stop being emotionally/spiritually bound. For anyone else to “look in” on the relationship and say that the spouse should have done something different or stayed longer and “trusted God” to work is crossing the line into judgment – the sinful kind. Instead we only have a “right” to make comment on another’s situation when we ourselves do the hard work of ‘suffering with’ and truly understanding the others pain. Then we may have earned the right to prayerfully care and not condemn.

Leave a Reply to Lucy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *