I hate that I just killed a spider.
Most of the time I can get by without thinking too deeply about it, but when these times of contemplation hit, they tear me up inside. That spider died because it was doing what it was created to do. It was in my home because it had an instinct to survive, and it survived best in my home until now. It had nothing against me, nothing against my way of living. It did not know that there is a no-spider rule in this house, and there was no way to tell it that.
And in one smash of a shoe, I extinguished life. Life! You can't replace that! I can't dispose of a little life and make more later (and if I could, it would end in a long-winded, yawn-inducing intellectual monster like Frankenstein's, I'm sure).
Don't misunderstand me. I don't think of myself as a murderer, or a trampler of arachnid rights. The spider needed to die. I needed the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the spider is not going to crawl into my bed and bite me. My issue is with the fact that the system of our world is death. It troubles me. It's wrong. It doesn't fit with the world God created, and I can feel it. All death is a result of sin, even the death of my tiny nemesis.
Off and on, whenever I have time and I'm not distracted, I've been reading The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. So far it is a fantastic book (although I must admit, I seem to be a sucker for Russian literature). The issues and mindsets that are brought up in this book make you think, whether you accept them as your own views or no. Whenever I am struck by the grimness of mortality, whenever I find a dead bird or mouse, or smash a spider with my shoe, I think of one of the characters in Karamozov.
"Birds of heaven, happy birds, forgive me, for I have sinned against you too." None of us could understand that at the time, but he shed tears of joy. "Yes," he said, "there was such a glory of God all about me; birds, trees, meadows, sky, only I lived in shame and dishonoured it all and did not notice the beauty and glory."
When I first read these words, I dismissed them as extreme, impractical, and misdirected. And yet, as I discover more and more how all creation groans and suffers in its slavery to corruption, I find myself wanting to apologize to all that is touched by death's cold hand. The wages of sin is death, and though Christ has taken my death for me, my sinful actions take their toll on Creation.
Ultimately, whether I sin or not has little effect on the death in this world. There was quite enough sin in Eve's bite of fruit to ruin all of creation. But when I sin I show utter disregard for every crushed insect, for every withered flower, for every blue jay-raided nest, for every dead animal on the side of the road, for every cancer, for every star gone super nova. And more than these things, when I sin I show this disregard for the Death that brought Life.
This isn't a guilt trip for you or for me. It's simply an observation, and the voicing of a thought that I have long held in my mind. It's the reason I could never hunt, and the reason I sometimes go through vegetarian phases. But more than that, it's fuel to my desire for an eternity full of God's holiness, glory, and perfection!
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:18-25
The title of this post comes from the song "Yellow Spider" by MewithoutYou.