Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The writing spider spells a psalm

I know she’s around here somewhere, and beautiful as she is, I don’t want to inadvertently stumble on her. (Why do those adverbs sound better splitting infinitives?)Her fat, globular body splashed with brilliant yellow and black etchings and her long pincer legs give her a fearful beauty—best observed at a distance. She’s called, among other names, a writing spider.

She had strung a huge translucent web from the patio chair to the grill—a web I would have missed, large as it was, if it wasn’t for the concentrated silky “zipper,” a run of zig-zags right up the middle. A wives’ tale warns if she spells your name you’re dead. I know it’s just a saying, but I did take a closer look at those zigs –MMMMMMMM.

The next day it was all gone. Later I found her hanging out her spanking new silks on the opposite side of the deck. According to Internet info, each night she takes the whole intricate webbing down, eats it actually, and starts “writing” all over again the next day.

 All that precision, beauty, practicality rolled up, erased and rebuilt—each day. Unobserved by anyone (except those of us who have this fearful, but not fatal beauty draped across our porch).

As a writer, I see the illustration. Do it again, and again. Find the right word, the subtle illustration, the right tension that will capture that reader’s heart and understanding.

And as person pursuing the praise of God, but so often looking for it from the mouths of friends, and family (and readers), I see the wondrous beauty crafted in the silence of night, noticed only by the One who created it to be so.

I am reminded of a time I was certain I would be given an honor. Without a doubt, I was the next in line, the one who had worked for it, had seen others honored before me. When the notification was put on my desk, I carefully unfolded the paper, expecting to relish seeing my name.

But it was not my name. There was no word beginning with MMMM. I was stunned. My emotions, like a flooded stream, swirled with anger, resentment, and the injustice of it all! It was supposed to be my time of honor, Lord.

Have you ever had a day like that? When you wanted to hear the praises of men only to have your anticipation suddenly deflate into disappointment?

What a comfort to be able to run to the One who sees, who knows. What a relief to be able to let the hope of the praise of men slide through your fingers and instead be able to say:

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. (Psalm 62)          


  1. Write and repeat. As writers are we not driven to write? A beautiful illustration, Marcia.

  2. That's a wonderful insight and as delicately crafted as the writing spider's web. In this world the only honour worth having is being a citizen of the kingdom of God. God bless you and take care.

  3. Marcia:

    Up north, we call them orb weavers. I enjoyed this post immensely.

    I admire your writing because you never fail to honor our almighty God with your praise.




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