Monday, November 21, 2011


Roy is a spider.

A very big spider.

I didn't make friends with him right away.

At first, I had to make sure what kind of spider he was. Having satisfied myself that he was NOT a Brown Recluse(and that my life wasn't in any immediate danger) – I further researched and found out he was a Garden Orb Weaver.

Hence, the name Roy – as in Roy ORBison. (I hear groaning out there in Blog Land…)

Actually Roy might be a she – he might be Charlotte (as in Charlotte's Web – more groaning?!) – but I like the name Roy. Plus, I skipped Biology class on the day they taught us how to determine the sex of spiders. (Do you just go up and ask them?)

So, let me tell you the story of Roy.

One morning about two months ago – a cold, drizzly, foggy morning – I saw this rather spectral, flimsy, ghost-like "something" shimmering at the corner of my kitchen window. I have a sunshade on this garden window, so it wasn't clear right away what I was looking at. I pulled the shade up – and there was Roy. Firmly planted right in the middle of a web of sparkling diamond dewdrops.


I gotta tell you, Roy makes an impressive web.

It's all uniform, symmetrical, intricate. And it's huge! Probably measures about 18 – 20 inches across. (I haven't actually measured it because I just don't have the heart to interfere with his business by sticking my tape measure up in his face!)

Since that morning, I've checked on him every day.

One day he was gone. Or at least I thought so. But later that day, in the pre-evening dusky light, there he was – patiently reconstructing another web. Evidently, once in awhile he takes down an old web – I watched him do it once – and then makes another new one later on.

One day it was really windy. Roy's web developed a gaping hole in one side of it. No worries. Next morning all the necessary repairs were made.

And one day "The Hub" – forgetting about Roy – walked around the corner of the house and pretty much destroyed the web. I got all upset –

"Where's Roy? Did you hurt him?"

Yes, for a spider.

But, have no fear, next morning Roy was back – just like the faithful little sentinel he is.

I like watching what he catches. Mostly it's just gnats and teeny little creatures that I can barely see. Once he got a fly. Feast time for Roy.

I know someday he's going to be gone. It's just the way their lives are. But until then, I like having Roy around.

Would you believe that he's taught me some things about God? (You know me…)

First of all, Roy has taught me about perseverance. He has taught me how to withstand the inclement elements of this world. We face a lot of "stuff" on this old, fallen planet...

Sometimes our carefully constructed *webs* get gaping holes in them, sometimes they get destroyed, sometimes someone just plows right into us, and sometimes we find that we need to completely dismantle them and start all over again.

I find that discouraging.

But not Roy.

You see, Roy has a purpose. And that is to catch things for sustenance – and to make other spiders.

I've got a purpose, too.

It's not that dissimilar really. Spiritually, I also need to "catch" the things of God for sustenance – and then, I am to go out and spread the Word to make other disciples.

I ought not tire of the work.

Roy doesn't. And why? Because that’s what he was made to do.

Second, Roy has taught me about how to catch things. I read about the webs of Garden Orb Weavers. It's really quite fascinating.

You see, the Garden Orb Weaver does not use poison to kill their prey, nor sticky threads in their web. No, their threads can be recognized by their fuzzy appearance, which captures prey by a Velcro-like mechanism.

And Roy has a special body part made just for spinning his web. He has a cribellum:

"The cribellum is a silk spinning organ found in certain spiders. Unlike normal spinnerets, the cribellum consists of one or more plates covered in thousands of tiny spigots. These spigots produce extremely fine fibers which are combed out by the spider's calamistrum, producing silk with a wooly texture. The fibers are so small in diameter that prey insects easily become entangled in them, without any glue needed." (From Wikipedia)

Before you think this is a class on spiders(and no, there isn't going to be a pop quiz) – let me tell you why I liked this information.

It has something to do with how we attract others to Christ. How we win them with our words. How to make the Good News something they want to hear about.

We don't need to poison them with a "holier-than-thou" attitude.

We don't need to be all "sticky" – with a thousand "thou shalt not's" clogging up the way to the cross.

We do need to send out numerous little tendrils of friendship, and time, and prayer, and acceptance.

We do need to speak Truthbut Truth mixed in with large, large amounts of Love. We need to be *fuzzy.* (You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar).

We do need to entangle others in our joy, to capture them by our peace, to snare them with our hope.

No glue needed.

And finally, Roy taught me one other thing.

His steady little presence has been reassuring.

I've come out first thing every morning and looked for him. And there he is. Just like the day before. Just like the night before.

Steadfast, dependable, reliable.

Sound like anyone else?!

Roy is like the Lord.

Steadfast, dependable, reliable. Unmoving in His presence in my life. I can count on Him to be there. Just like the day before. Just like the night before. The Bible promises that the One who watches over me never slumbers, never sleeps. What a comfort that is.

My question is this – am I coming out first thing every morning and looking for Him?

I should be.

His steady presence is the only reassuring thing in this life.

So, as I finish this post, I'm going to go and look out my window at Roy (love my laptop!)

OH! He's on the move. He's crawling around. What's he up to? Is he repairing or re-constructing his web? Is he getting it all ready to catch some stuff? Is he feeding on the nourishment he's worked so hard to procure?

Don't know.

But, he sure is cute out there. And his web, though barely visible to the naked eye, is right this minute shining brightly in the mid-afternoon light.

Dear Lord – oh, that I might weave like Roy!

What kind of web are you weaving?

Today I am linked with Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY!

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. I don't like spiders and snakes...

    Sorry, I could not resist singing a little first. Actually, I don't mind spiders all that much. I never found them as fascinating as you find Roy, though.

    Until this post.

    Sharon, God totally rocked this one!! I love everything He showed you about Roy and the way it relates to God and to us. So typically, we would immediately relate him to Satan.

    But not you. No, you saw God. That's one of my favorite things about you.

    My favorite two parts of this were the thoughts about the gapes in our web and the part about the poison with the "holier than thou" attitude.

    Who knew I could learn from a spider? Apparently, Sharon and God.

  2. Sharon,
    This is so well written and inspiring! I actually enjoyed the spider lesson. I'm glad there is no pop quiz. :) God's creation is so fascinating! Intricate, delicate and the glory so often goes undetected by humans, but it brings pleasure to Him. I want to weave like Roy, too.

  3. Now Sharon, I must say I wouldn't be able to have such a friendly relationship with oh Roy. But I love the life lessons you gleaned from watching him. Illustrated sermons are all around us each day. We all need to pay attention.

  4. I knew right away that there was a story and a lesson to go along with Roy. You weave your own web of words and thoughts so well, and it all goes straight back to Jesus.

    I think if I picked a random word or sentence from anything, that you would be able to make a spiritual application. I love that!!!

    Happy happy Thanksgiving Sharon. You are a blessing to me.


  5. Hi Sharon,

    Intriguing blog - you put things so well. Much of your message, ties in with what we were discussing at church recently.

    Take Care - Blessings - Nita.

  6. Ahhh sweet morning blessings Sharon and such an intricate web you weave with your words, illustrations delicately explained and so cleverly connected to God and spiritual lessons... only someone like you finds such delights and wisdom from nature, especially varmits like spiders and creepy creatures. The web part fascinates me as well... not the critters as much.

    So why the name Roy? all the way through reading this I thought you'd have an acronym for R.O.Y. (not sure comparing to the Lord was part of this)... yet the characteristics of all God's creation (even ones I don't like so well or take an affection towards) show us part of Him and reveal a lesson. You had so many GREAT ones woven here: perseverance, purpose, sustenance, steady presence, and so much more but my favorite was the connection to our discipleship! WOW! So interesting and intriguing!

    How we attract others to CHRIST!!! Awesome how you pointed these out so well... I love the "holier than thou" (how true), sticky "thou shall not", "tendrils of friendship" (prayers, encouragements, etc.), speak Truth with "fuzzy"
    love, "entangle others in our joy, to capture them by our peace, to snare them with our hope"!

    Topped by God's steadfastness, dependablity, reliablity and comfort, with a great reflective question: am I coming out first thing every morning and looking for Him? Ahhh YES!

    What's God up to? repairing, reconstructing, weaving something new??? hmmmm

    My web hardly compares! But I am intrigued and interested in finding out how God will unravel this lesson in my life and yours!Outstanding... and so thankful that there's no pop quiz. God accepts our intrusion lovingly as He watches us weave with what He's placed in our hands, in our environment, in our journey, in our purpose,
    in our hearts, and in the lives of others we connect with daily... may we be aware of the daily lessons as God reveals them and look for the good rather than the bad... like spiders, snakes, iguanas and cockroaches... each creature with a purpose and reason to connect us to the Magnificent Creator and give Him praise, thanks and all glory for what He reveals

    Love your vision and depth and YOU!

  7. Sorry Sharon and READERS, When I get going...I don't stop...I should have emailed this one too!
    I'll learn someday to be brief and to the point.

    God bless,

  8. My mother use to tell us the spiders were her she laughed about having a cob web in our house.

    Some of the facts were given to me by my son recently after studying that was fun to read again...of course he didn't teach the spiritual lessons of a spider

    Great post...and just in case you ever feel your life is boring or uneventful...well you can just forget that...your life is very full

    Happy Thanksgiving

  9. This is one of the best analogies I have read, Sharon...truly inspiring!

  10. Hi Sharon:

    I know exactly what kind of spider Roy is. First of all, I have arachnophobia (I hope I spelled that right) to such a degree that I tease my husband that when he took our marriage vows they included killing all spiders within close proximity to me. However, these garden orb weavers are beautiful, as are their intricate webs. A few years ago I came home from work and saw that one had built a web under a bedroom window. I watched as she was in the process of "wrapping" a fly or something that was caught in her web. My husband was standing near and he decided he needed to take my temperature since I was standing so close to the spider.

    Anyway, I came inside and begand to research the orb weavers and I wrote a devotion (yes the spider inspired me). I've never posted it - perhaps I will someday.

    Love your insight here...

  11. PS - since I'm sure my spider was a female, I guess Roy could sing "Oh, Pretty Woman" to her.

    Sorry - I couldn't resist...

  12. Okay loved the spider lesson - but I have to tell you I'm not to found of spiders. sandie

  13. I like how you have a "pet" spider, Sharon. I bet it is enjoyable to watch as he weaves his webs and to see the finished product so to speak. Great analogies you "spun" here (yes pun intended). I definitely want to be building my web on Jesus and with Jesus!


  14. Love this! I love watching spiders and they totally fascinate me. Yet, I had never related them to our lives. Great job! I would have liked a portrait of Roy though. :)

  15. Great post! You always get me smiling! This time, besides the fact that you wrote a great lesson about God by watching a spider, I smiled at the name! Roy is my husband's name! lol And guess what? These two "Roys" have something in common! They both have patience, perseverance and a creative side! But seriously, I love how you can see God-lessons in everyday things! It is so encouraging. Thanks for sharing and thanks for linking up!

    Blessings, JOan

  16. As much as I love to listen to the Lord speak through His creation, I could do without the spider metaphors. Not into those eight legs. However, you have redeemed this disagreeable creature by showing forth the glory of God's character and the wonder of a Creator God who makes even the lowly in life - or hard to love spiders - bear witness to His Name!


  17. Refreshing words, Sharon. I liked this a lot.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)