Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob,
don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you.
I am the Lord, your Redeemer.
I am the Holy One of Israel.’ (Isaiah 41:14)
As a kid, I had traumatic experiences with worms. My brother and a neighborhood friend used to chase me with them. Then, because I refused to quit pestering them, they created a worm-a-torium, where they displayed the ugliest and biggest specimens they could unearth. Ginormous anglers were stretched and pinned to chunks of 2×4’s, then left in the sun to shrivel and die. It was grotesque, and it worked. I couldn’t stand to look at the vile, naked creatures so stayed far away from our garden and garage where the two conducted their mad-science experiments.
In an unrelated incident, my sister accused me and a visiting classmate of dropping a worm down her back while we played in the backyard. Didn’t my mother know that I would never touch one of those things? My sister, however, was believed and my friend sent home.
These experiences warped me in the worm department. Child-like rational at work, I despised anything creepy and crawly. I’m so extreme that I won’t even eat gummy worms. And “dirt cake” with candy worms … whoever thought of something so awful? I don’t care how many chocolate cookies you crunch up … just the thought of chewing on anything worm-like is revolting.
Worms are ugly, naked, and helpless, especially in the wake of a rainstorm that flushes them out and leaves them to die, exposed to the elements. Worms are creatures of fright, used by little boys to terrify little girls (and often the other way around as well). Worms may benefit ecosystems, but why do we have to look at them?
So what can God … this God who loves us … this God we understand to be our Heavenly Father …. possibly mean by calling us worms? Seriously? Isn’t that just mean?
But … God, isn’t really name-calling, is He? In fact, could God have been thinking not simply of an earthworm but of a creature more like a caterpillar?
Vulnerable like worms, caterpillars remain at the mercy of the elements and of predators. Many never make it to their final destiny. Many never find their wings. Many never outlast the perils that allows them to show the world that there is beauty on the other side of ugly.
Without either a whole lot of luck or some kindly, divine interventions, caterpillars face a treacherous journey. Yet, in a caterpillar, God knows the secret. He looks through the wormlike creature to the creature yet to come. The worm just has to keep crawling – keep trusting the path it has been put on.
And in us, His lowly, sweet worms, He sees not only the worm, but the creature that will emerge from the darkness and the muck. He sees beauty for all the ugliness we walk through and the pain we cause for others. He knows what awaits as we walk on a broken road, and He gently says …
“Don’t be afraid, little worm, but trust in me. I’m not done yet. Let Me finish the work and others will see something far greater than you. They will see Me. They will see hope.”
All the photos on this site are property of Mrs. Ausmus Photography. These were taken at the Butterfly Wonderland in Phoenix. I’m including a couple of collages above for a quick glance. For those who find therapy in the wonders of nature, I’ve included several larger images below. To me, they are dessert on paper. I find a thousand inspirations in these creatures as I consider their arduous journeys. The ragged wings, the perfect patterns, the joy they bring just by existing … how wise God is to have given us such gifts.
And just for fun (and because I’ve been so heavily influenced by the never-ending humor of my 7th graders) …
|Why didn’t the two worms get on Noah’s Ark in an apple ?
Because everyone had to go on in pairs !
|How do you make a glow worm happy ?
Cut off his tail, he’ll be de-lighted !
|What’s a glow worms favourite song ?
Wake me up before you glow glow !
|Why was the glow worm unhappy ?
Because her children weren’t that bright !