With Autumn coming on hard and fast in these parts—I thought I’d be clever and make an attempt to clean up the weedy garden so that the last of the zucchini and cucumbers and tomatoes could be picked and piled and brought inside one final time. The ground had been soaked the night before so the grass and weeds and spent plants pulled up very easily. I was making great progress and feeling quite pleased with myself. Just as I was about to move to the tomato row and continue on–while the garden was still in shade–a strange thought went through my head. As clear and distinct as a bell the thought was, “Get some gloves on.” Well, that wouldn’t be any real big deal except that I didn’t actually have any gloves. So I sat there, not really sure what to do.
Now understand that I’m a big believer in following impressions, the Spirit, my heart–however you are comfortable putting it. I’ve learned that things always, always turn out better if you listen when you are prompted. But the ground was soft, the shade was perfect and the weeds were willing to come out. I didn’t want to stop. Maybe I could just clear out this first tomato plant. Maybe I could just…I knew better.
Exasperated, I gathered up my tools and trudged into the house. After cleaning up I headed to the store to look for some gloves, but the season was over and there wasn’t even a garden section anymore. I had to make do with some lame cloth work gloves–but it would be too late in the day to begin again anyway. The weeds would have to wait till tomorrow. Luckily, the ground was still relatively soft the next morning. With my silly work gloves on I was determined to finish the entire section and again, made great time. Clearing every blade of grass and weed away from the tomatoes I moved on to the zucchini, watermelon and pumpkins. Ok, I didn’t quite get to the cucumbers, but dang the garden looked good.
So good in fact, that when my son-in-law came home from work that evening, I begged him to go clear out to the garden to see my work. Standing on the deck we waited while he walked around admiring the plants he could actually see now. As he leaned down close to the tomatoes, he reached down to pick one, but instead, he hollered, “Bring me a bucket!”
And this is what he found…
A very, very Black Widow
At the base of the first tomato plant that I was trying to weed the day before, without gloves—and the same one that I had meticulously cleared that very day with gloves, sat a big, fat, creeptacular Black Widow. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that 51 year-old ladies really don’t want to get bit by Black Widows. It’s a policy we have. Luckily, the brave knight slew the dreadful Charlotte and all was well again in Zion. But I’ll tell you something–next time, when I hear a whisper, I won’t argue for a second. I’ll just move.
And so you see, dear reader—that the moral of this story is:
All those good ideas, and epiphanies and warnings and nudges and nagging feelings that we have—all the time…
They are given to us for our own good—but can only help if we listen.