While walking down one hallway of Danville’s First Presbyterian Church on a Sunday a while back, I saw something small and shadowy which stood out against the wall’s white paint.
I dared not touch it, squash it, or even try to find some container in which to safely transport it back outside (as I am wanting to do); for if I had, the bug would have reacted and “stood out” even more: it was a STINK BUG!
The stink bug walked with a slow, certain step. It seemed self-sure, not like the furtive wolf spider I saw in that same area a while back, snuggled into a crevice between two lengths of molding, a “cleft” in which to “hide” itself (any perceived allusion to the lyrics of an old favorite hymn is “spot on!”).
(Hmmm, a spider, a stink bug, but so far, no ants; however, nothing could top the treatment they’ve already been given in Proverbs 6: 6-11).
The stink bug was so certain of no interference from me that I was able to calmly watch and even notice the order in which it put down each of its six feet in its up-the-wall trek!
The insect felt so assured of my non-intervention, of course, due to the Lord given this particular variety of bug a most excellent means of defending himself with something which can be described as: “olfactory noxiousness” (there are “the bright and beautiful;” and then, there are “the stinky”).
And in a Martin Luther state of mind, with paraphrase: “One little bug shall fell them!”
I observed the stink bug prior to the giving of the sermon; but the sermon played a great part in my obtaining meaning from what I had seen on that wall.
Reverend Jackson Weller spoke of the ultimate hopelessness of a life involved with only the physical things. He said those things are lost over time, as is the person who is overly concerned with them. After the decades have sufficiently rolled on, no one remembers him.
Rev. Weller said that a growing relationship with God avoids one winding up being meaningless; and along with that, I think the key is to be “remembered by God,” as was that thief on the Cross, who said “Remember me…”
And concerning that lowly stink bug: Well, we are all “stink bugs come to church”(reeking of “something”), in hopes of having our “shields lowered” ( Star Trek lingo) in order to “commune and communicate”(sorry, I am, after all, a child of the 1960s).
Following the service, I walked back down that hallway and saw the stink bug was gone. From where I had last seen it, I imagined it possibly continuing over the expanse of wall where a series of photographs and portraits of the church’s former ministers were once hung but had been removed prior to the wall’s repainting.
Thinking about the bug having walked over the same place once honored by the faces of former pastors made me recall from the 103rd Psalm: “For the wind passeth over it, it vanishes, and its place knows it no more.”
But wait! I’ve put too much on the little stink bug, more than it could ever carry! (I don’t think stink bugs are equipped to really carry anything, anyway, except their smell).
So, I’d best let the bug go its way, without allowing it to pass further “six-legged judgement” upon humanity!
It’s bad enough as it is that “All is vanity!” without bestowing upon the stink bug, the moniker: “Vanity’s Arbiter!”