The kids brought in a piece of wood a couple of weeks ago. It was a few inches long and it looked like it was broken off of a log. It had something on it that was hard, white and petrified-looking. Reminded me of a trilobite fossil. It sat on the counter for a few days and then I tried to sneak it into the garbage, but they caught me and strongly expressed their desire to save it. Noah was sure the white thing was some sort of egg sack. I sighed as I stuffed it into a ziploc sandwich bag. There it sat on my counter, keeping us company throughout our daily living, until it became so familiar that I no longer noticed it.
This morning, we were all excited, because the owners of our rental house were moving out, which meant that we could have possession of it. We couldn't wait to go over and figure out what colors to paint the rooms and where to put the furniture. As usual, Angelina was the first one up. Like Mom, she needs her coffee in the morning. She staggered up the stairs, eyes and hair all sleepy. I put my arms out and beckoned for a hug. As she came over to me, her eyes opened wide and her face filled with awe as she pointed behind me and exclaimed, "Oh, Mommy, look! Dad! Look! Look!" We turned around and saw the broken-bit-of-log-in-the-bag. It was filled with tiny, newborn praying mantes (that is the plural of mantis and it is pronounced man-teez; do not argue with me; I looked it up)! And since there was some sturdy plastic between me and the wildlife, I, too, thought it was pretty cool. Angelina went and roused the other kids out of bed. They plod in, one by one, eyes and noses red, hair all askew, to see the wonder on the counter. They marvel at the nature happening in the ziploc bag. As usual, Noah was right.
Then the day began and we had to run errands. Charlie and I had haircut appointments, we had to sign some paperwork for Charlie's attorney and get it notarized and the county was having a program were they were creating ID kits for parents to keep, with fingerprints and dental impressions, etc. So we brought all 5 kids there as well. Busy, busy.
Finally, we get the call that the house is empty. We head over there and the kids immediately go into the backyard to play. It is lovely, with a large playset, and beautiful landscaping. Joe comes out of the house and hold up his hand. In it is the plastic bag. The kids shriek with excitement and go get it. They release the mantes (go ahead, check the dictionary) in an area full of plants and flowers. Joe tells them that the mantes (see, I was right) stay very close to where they hatch, so, this summer, the backyard should be full of them.
We go into the house and bless it with blessed salt and pray in each room for God to cleanse the home and make it spiritually suitable for us to live there. As we are doing this, it occurs to me that those mantes were a gift from Him. It was not a coincidence that they hatched on this day. This day we begin again. God has given us a new life. He took us away from the home we thought we belonged in and placed us in one more beautiful than we could have imagined. Like the mantes. Or the birds of the air. Or the lilies of the field...
Matthew 6:25-33. Read it.