On my hike down memory lane, I stumbled across this gem……….


Have you ever thought about how you have been protected by God, without even realising it? 

There were a few times I think He had His hand over me, without my knowing. On one occasion I nearly climbed into bed with a Brown Recluse Spider but saw it just in time.

The spider probably came in with some bananas we had bought, because he is not native to Africa. The Brown Recluse Spider likes to hide away, in dark corners, or under stuff like couches, or cupboards, or even, sometimes, beds.

Being at ease with the massive Rain Spiders we get here in Cape Town, some about the size of an adults hand, but which are mainly harmless, if scary looking. So I was not too concerned when I saw quite a big fellow on my bedroom wall. 

In the night though, I had to get up and switched on the bedside lamp. The sudden light must have frightened the spider because it crashed down like a bungee jumper on an elastic cord, then shot back, as if it had fallen from a web. 

To my knowledge, Rain Spiders did not spin webs. Hm. 

Nah, I’m fine, I thought, I’ve said my prayers, I’m safe, and I drifted off to sleep.

Next day I did all the usual things, made the bed and so on. Spidey was now above my cupboards, no problem, as long as he stayed within view.

I decided to try and identify him, because he was looking less and less like a Rain spider and more like something a little more unpleasant, which It certainly was. 

By the time I had my iPad and searched for information on Arachnids, he had moved again. Spidey had disappeared entirely. Satisfied he had gone back to the garden, I put him out of my mind.

Later that night, though, as I was getting into bed, something gave me pause, and I glanced down. Hiding there under the bed, with only a couple of legs visible was a Brown Recluse Spider. These fellas have a very nasty bite, especially if one is old and infirm, as I am.

Now one of the things I loved about my daughter, Laura, was her compassion for all God’s creatures. She did not believe in killing things, not even spiders. She would do the ‘glass over the creepy-crawly, paper under, and outdoor, release’.

So, not wanting to harm the ugly little bug from hell, but still wanting to evict it from my bedroom, she brought out our brand new vacuum cleaner. 

It was a Hoover, with different settings and strengths for different jobs. Turning it to it’s softest suction, Laura aimed the tube at the horrible hairiness in front of her. Imagining it being lightly lifted by a quiet, whispery sort of inhalation, then gently released in the garden.

Ha! Not tonight, Josephine! As she switched on the top-grade vacuum cleaner, it roared into action, sucked in the spider and destroyed it in a flash of guts, fur, and venom.

We looked at each other speechless.

We were kind people; we didn’t kill things. Yet, there it was, a brutalised bundle of bug guts, but, um, no spider. 

Guess’ mission accomplished’?

I do wonder if I had had special protection that night. Had someone guided me, made me look before climbing into bed? Was I saved from severe trauma because He was watching, unbeknownst to me?

Then there was the time I threw a lit match into an open 44-gallon drum of petrol. I wanted to see if it would explode in a fiery whoosh of flames. Wow, it would have been a fantastic show.

It also would have killed me, of course, something I didn’t quite factor into my plan.

I lived. The match spluttered out, and the flame died.

Lucky, I guess? Or was someone watching over five years old me?

Then there was the third thing I remember.

When we lived in Livingstone, Zambia, back in 1955, my brother Peter and I found a weird-looking object half-buried in the ground.

It was about the size of a grapefruit, green, and had a pineapple pattern on it.

Peter tried pulling it out of the ground, but it was stuck fast. I brought him a little hand fork, and he tried digging it out with that, but the soil was packed tight and hard as a brick.

So Peter sat down and gave the thing a few healthy kicks, to try to loosen it from the ground.

At this point, my father wandered over to see what we were doing. He took one look and grabbed both of us by the scruffs of our necks, and dragged us away.

Shortly afterwards the place was swarming with police. They ordered us to get as far away as possible and let the bomb squad do its job.

The green, thing with the pineapple markings was, of course, a hand grenade, a relic of World War 2.

Had we persisted in trying to kick it lose, Well, pretty clear what the outcome would have been?

So who protected us on that occasion, was some divine hand over us, maybe, just possibly, huh.

Just sayin’.

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