It would appear that God’s plan for my life has something to do with scorpions. I saw yet another one on the kitchen floor this morning, which was actually less disconcerting than the one that was running at me on my bathroom floor a couple weeks ago (a terrifying seven feet away from my bed, where I SLEEP, that I prefer to be a scorpion-free zone). My house is full of them*.
But I digress.
Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking a lot about St. Francis, and trying to use his model of love, charity, simplicity and unrestrained joy at all of God’s creation in my daily life. The problem I’m having is with that last one. You see, St. Francis lived in Assisi, Italy. I live in central Texas.
I admire the simple beauty of his lovely Canticle of the Sun, and am really trying to find that sort of ecstatic joy in God’s amazing creations that are all around me. And, indeed, some days I too feel overjoyed by simply noticing Brother Sun and Sister Moon.
It really starts to break down, however, when I see Brother Scorpion on my kitchen floor. I know that these are God’s amazing creations and all, but I am not at a level of spiritual maturity when I can appreciate God’s creations of the stinger- and pincer-having variety in my house.
I also don’t feel particularly Franciscan when Brother Sun and Sister Humidity are in full force around mid-July, and when Sister Baseball-Sized Hail causes $2,000 in damage to our car. That vague itching sensation reminds me not to forget Sister Mosquito, and the neighbors say we have some Brother Rattlesnakes to watch out for in the area behind my back yard fence. Did I mention Sister Six-Inch Millipede With These Crazy Fang-Looking Things who I met on my front porch yesterday?
So…I am trying to soak in the beauty of God’s creation all around me, but I have to admit it’s a lot easier in, say, February. As the Texas summer begins and we are reminded once again that we are living in a climate inhospitable to human life, it becomes a little more difficult to live by St. Francis’ example. But I suppose that it really is all something to marvel at: the symmetry, the complexity, the simplicity of everything around us. It really is all wondrously beautiful, if you look at it the right way. Even Brother Scorpion.
* By “full of them” I mean I’ve seen six scorpions within the past couple of months. Though the case could be made that an average scorpion-sighting rate of 0.75 per week does not a “HOUSE FULL OF SCORPIONS!!!!” make, it’s far more than enough to meet my definition.