A Noiseless Patient Spider  By Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

epa03133643 Thousands of spiders build new spider webs after floodwaters forced them to move to higher grounds, in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia on 06 March 2012. Reports state that more than 9000 people have been evacuated from Wagga Wagga as flooding continues to ravage vast areas of New South Wales.  EPA/LUKAS COCH AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

A recent article, It’s raining spiders in Australia, showed up in my newsfeed this week.  Australia is known for interesting, crazy animals and animal related stories.  This is one of the those crazy times that is almost unbelievable but it’s true.  According to the New York Post, usually during August and May, spiders descend on a city in New South Wales, causing the ground to be covered in what looks like snow but is actually the cotton-like thread from the spider’s webs.  According to the article, this even inspired Walt Whitman’s poem.


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Isaiah 52 says “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.”  But let’s forget about feet, let’s talk about hands.  Hands hold, hands shape, hands create, hands grip, hands comfort, hands give, hands do all these things and more.  We rely on our hands and see our hands working everyday however the typical person doesn’t usually think about hands.  But I do.  I am amazed by hands.   I notice people’s hands.

As a Christian, I contemplate Christ’s hands that were pierced for my sins.  Hands that felt nails rip through the flesh.  Hands that had restored sight, hands that had broken bread, hands that had held children, washed feet and done so many miracles.  These hands hold scars that bear my name.  I love his hands.  His hands saved my life.

Years ago I wrote a poem based off of a picture of a woman where the focal point was her hands.  I remember wanting to capture her life through those hands.  What her hands had done and experienced.  Later on I adapted that poem for my Grandfather shortly before he died.  My Grandfather had wonderful hands that raised a wonderful family and I wanted to honor him in that way.  A few years later, I was asked to contribute to a gift for a couple who is very precious to me.  Maybe some of you will recognize who this was written to but I recently found it and realized how true these words are.  Hands are important.  I want my own hands to be remembered in this way.

Their hands.

Warm and caring, prompt and attentive.

Their hands

ever-ready to provide.

Hands that have raised their own children

and cared for the children of others.

Comforted in times of sorrow.

Praised in time of joy.

Their hands

in faithful use.

Hands that organize and cook.

Hands that pour over maps and fold in prayer.

Their hands,

that have held so much.

From camera to sweet grandson.

From the Bible to missionary letters

and still  holding one another.

Their hands.

 Hands that have felt the world change

and molded it into something better.

Their hands

still working for the kingdom.

Hands that will dial a phone number just to say hi.

Hands that welcome guests and family into their home.

Hands that hold the hearts of blessed friends.

Their hands

sanctified and cared for,

enabled and directed by Him

who’s hands bear the ultimate scars.

Their hands

that will forever be remembered.

Not because of their own greatness

But because of their service to Him.