Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Prophet on the Pillow

There is nothing new about creepy, crawly things getting into our homes, especially in the summer months when bugs become more active, our hills are on fire, or just plain leaving the door open.   Our screen is torn a little from someone trying to walk forward before the door was all the way open and sometimes the neighbor's cat likes to sneak inside.  Of course, I live in an area that used to be predominantly dairy lands.  There are always flies, but since the dairies have moved out and industry and more people have moved in, the fly population is tolerable as long as they stay outside.  Chino and Chino Hills though, are really one big ant hill.  For the most part I have kept the ants outside, but as soon as August rolled around, their little mini-freeways were every which way throughout my garden. At my old house, I had a grocery store behind the 20 foot back wall.   Occasionally at night, if I was standing at the sink and looking out the back window, a possum and her babies would run across the back wall, silhouetted by the dock lights, looking like giant rats.  When I was a kid, the local newspaper came to our house and took a picture of the great horned owl that took temporary lay over in our big tree after a fire in the local foothills. 

 Last summer I had a lizard on my stairs...a big lizard.  I have a bed of impatiens and a bed of mums on either side of my front door, and one side of the house is dedicated to my vegetable and herb garden.  I enjoy gardening and enjoy the good insects!  If I were in Chino Hills, I would be worrying about snakes and that would be a different story.

Which leads me to share my latest up close and personal encounter with Mother Nature.  Coming home this last Thursday,  as I trudged upstairs to take my revitalizing, beauty,  after school nap, (well I can't have my Starbucks right now)...something else had beaten me to the pillows.  It was on Ted's side if that is of any consequence... but a very large adult Praying Mantis had plopped itself in the center of one of my small throw pillows, it's humble posture mimicking a beseeching soul in faithful devotion.  Of, course I immediately went back downstairs,  got Corey and the camera and some kind of container to gently remove him from MY SANCTUARY! 

So, how do I turn this into an insightful, spiritual lesson for this blog?  Well, humor me here, Let's first learn some Praying Mantis facts.

                  The word "Mantis" comes from the Greek,  meaning  prophet.

So, I have a praying prophet on my bed!  I guess this is a good thing; it could have been a self -indulged heretic. I will say that this "sign", being on Ted's side of the bed meant that we are at a turning point with his job situation, things are getting a little better and maybe some changes are on the way.  (I know, I am stretching it here...) I believe in God's promises that he has a good plan for all of us.  (Jeremiah 29:11). 

 The Mantis has a triangular shaped compound eyes and can move his head 180 degrees. 

I worship and serve a God who is triune, meaning He is and is all, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.   God is omnipresent, able to see all his children, and be all for His children at the same time.  I am not saying this bug was God...just relating these features.

 The Praying Mantis has ultrasound ears and powerful eyesight.               
 Do you know when we pray with a humble spirit, this empowers us to do God's will?  I have found in my life that when I am in a "praying mode" all day long, conversing, in a thoughtful mindset that God is ever present with me, I become more insightful and more peaceful. (Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective).

 And I found this most interesting:   One of the Praying Mantises’s (or is it Manti?) enemy is the
bat.  The Creator has equipped this alien-looking insect with a hollow chamber that somehow can detect a high pitch sound of a bat in the area and the mantis will immediately get out of the path of oncoming danger. 

When the enemy wants to distract, attack, gobble us up, take us out; we have a detection device as well.  PRAYER!  (Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."  Luke 21:36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."  1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

So, Mr. Mantis is now gracing our front planter.  How it ever got upstairs or in the house is a mystery.  Let me leave you with two quotes from a book I read a few years back, "The Kneeling Christian", author Unknown.
We may be assured of this:  "the secret of all failure is our failure in secret prayer."

"We are never so high as when we are on our knees."

Despite having this very large, strange-looking creature within my inner domain, (the bug, not Corey  lol...) I can be thankful that God continues to inspire me to write, and to see beyond the obvious.  Was  the mantis really praying?  I think he was: 

" Dear God, I flew into this place where there are no plants, and a ceiling fan...Not good...Can you see to remove me back to my stomping grounds? I'd appreciate it. Thanks."

 God answers prayer! 

Matthew 6:6  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.





  1. I love your pictures and thoughts. Very nice blog. Hope you have a great week at school - ready or not;)

  2. Great scripture references...I wrote them down and will try to remember them this week as 'life' comes my way! :)