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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lady Bug on My Knee

The office I work in gets invaded by lady bugs several times each year. Look up at the light in my office and you're likely to see at least seven or eight lady bugs, some alive and active, some dried out carcasses. The live ones buzz around our heads during these invasions, sometimes flopping on the desks in front of us, or flying bang into our computer screens.

Today, I spent several minutes watching a lady bug crawling up my pant leg. My legs were crossed, and I watched in fascination as the insect crawled to the top of my knee, the highest point it could reach. There it crawled around confusedly for several moments, down one side of my leg and back to the apex of my knee, then down the other side and back to the top again. Several times it would perch on the highest point of my knee and unfurl it's delicate wings, then launch itself into space. It would fly for only a fraction of a second, landing scarcely an inch or two away from the place it started out on my leg. It did this several times, as if uncertain of it's own ability to fly.

I stared at the unfolding process in wonderment, pondering what might possibly be going through the mind of that little bug. Why didn't it just throw itself into space and fly away. Why did it keep failing to launch, only to try again and again?

I realized that I could never understand what that bug was doing or thinking. And it struck me how metaphorical the situation was of my own relationship with God. Is it possible that God sits upon high, staring at me -- at all of us -- in puzzlement and wonderment? Do we appear as uncertain and unsteady in our flight as that little lady bug appeared to me? Is the lady bug really that different than all of us, reaching the highest point we can find, and then jumping around in blind confusion, making futile attempts to take flight? What help can God render to a being in that condition?

Finally the lady bug managed to launch itself into space for a longer flight. This time it managed to stay aloft for about three sustained seconds, all the while spiralling downward to the brown carpeted concrete that is the floor of my office. It landed with a thud on the floor and sat still for several moments. I thought it was dead, killed by the vicious impact it had sustained. I was just reaching to pick it up when it started crawling slowly across the carpet.

I saw my own life flashing before my eyes.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012