The practice of Lent - learning from spiders

A couple of days ago, a friend from Seminary came into town for a job he had in Addison. In the short time he was at AHUMC with Robin Stout (the new youth minister) and I, he shared with me a metaphor that I am holding onto for Lent.

A spider weaves a web. The web comes forth from the spider and is an extension of the spider herself. She moves back and forth working to create a web structure and it is beautiful. It is not enough to just create the web but she goes back over the web a second time, strengthening and augmenting the original web. At the end of this work, she has created an incredibly strong web that has the potential to be life giving for her. But in the moment, just after completion, it is not life giving. Creating the web is exhausting, but it is all she can do.

With the web completed, the only thing left for her to do is to wait. She does not ring bells or flash lights. There is no sign or banner. The only thing the spider can do, ever after all this exhausting work, is to wait and hope. She waits on that which gives her life and hopes it comes her way.

This is the spiders life.

And for the lent season, I will try to embody the posture of the spider. Create something out of my soul, an extension of my own self until exhausted.

And then I will wait on God.