I left one of our garden cucumbers on the dining table last night- just had one of those mommy moments where you forget to stick it back in the fridge. Short digression: my father-in-law visited last night and we wanted to show him our cucumber-squash hybrid creation. (What would you call that sort of thing? A cucuash? A squacumber? I don't know. Take a look at the photo posted further below and you'll see what I mean.)
Anyway, as we were having breakfast around our table this morning, Sadie noticed a caterpillar that had decided to dine with us, enjoying the fruits (or vegetables, as the case may be) of our labor. I'm not really sure how he got there since the cucuash was in the fridge prior to his modeling debut. We do have fresh cut flowers in a vase on our table, so maybe he was hiding behind or inside of one of the blooms.
|There he is, feasting away.|
Anyway, we all watched in amazement over our honey nut cheerios as he enjoyed his cucumber breakfast. (I know my city and "germophobic" friends (I mean that in the most loving and endearing sense of the word.) are grossed out now by that image. Come on, though. He's kind of cute, right? Or maybe my daughter's love of bugs is rubbing off on me. ;)
At any rate, we were totally engrossed (no pun intended). The kids particularly so, as they were far more interested in what the caterpillar was doing than in listening to our bible lesson this morning.
|See the two bites he's already taken? ;o)|
I found it more than coincidental that our bible lesson this morning was the story in Matthew 15 where Jesus tells the Pharisees and his disciples what the difference is between clean and unclean. He explains that it's not what you put into your mouth but what comes out of it that makes you clean or unclean...from your heart. Our kids were all acting out of a kind heart...a clean heart. Had the Pharisees been around to witness our encounter this morning, they very well may have declared our home "unclean" and demand that we evacuate while they perform their rituals to "cleanse" it (what was it, like 7 days or more?). But then what of the caterpillar? He'd never have the opportunity to become the beautiful butterfly that he is destined to be. What of us? Where would we find shelter during this "cleansing" time and would we be able to take anything with us (clothes, etc) or would all of it be considered "unclean"? Which is the more loving thing to do? Adhere to strict and rigorous "rules" over one little caterpillar while leaving a family homeless and naked or nurture the caterpillar despite his invasion and let the family remain in their beloved home, clothed and well?
It's not a perfect analogy, obviously. If our home were roach-infested I'd be the first one out the door! But I think you get the point. Weigh the cost, weigh the risk, and act accordingly, lovingly- in the best interest of all parties. Don't concern yourself so much with the outside of the cup but the inside. Don't concern yourself so much with whether a non-Christian ate the "show bread" but more so with their hunger.
I'm thankful for this teachable moment, not just for my kids but for me as well. May we all be clean today.
I think I'll let the caterpillar live this time. But if he gets into my watermelon... ;)