Wednesday, August 9, 2006

The Wheel Bug Rescue

On the recent jaunt to Charlottesville that I wrote about, when I had to choose between wallowing in unmet desires or seeing the day's events as Providential guidance, my choice to choose happiness and seeing good paid off before I got home.

At our last stop on the way out of the store, I saw a huge bug on the brick pillar so I went to see what it was. I can't even write that without thinking back to how afraid I was of bugs since childhood and how God healed that and took it away as I chose to think about God creating them for a good purpose. It wasn't easy, but after we moved to the woods in Alabama to our home which we called "The Refuge" I realized that I was not going to be able to hate and fear bugs and feel the essence of what a refuge is ... not only for me, but other species of Creation.

I'm not talking about mosquitoes and ticks. I think the devil's in the middle of all of that, but I haven't spent much time pondering on the evil bugs. I've invested time in learning more about the other bugs and the intricacies of their design, which shows me the detail and creativity of God, the Creator.

So, back to Charlottesville. When I got closer to the bug I realized it was an adult Wheel Bug. We had one of these at Bluebird Cove a year or two ago and I studied it and found it's name and realized it was a very beneficial bug to have around the garden. Here he was on a brick pillar at a shopping center surrounded by asphalt and a nearby highway. Certainly grounds for a rescue.

I didn't have a bug jar in the car, so I took my quilted glasses case and put him in it. Enjoying bugs and picking one up or allowing it to crawl on me aren't in the same category, so it's taken time to go from screaming from a chair to simply grabbing a bug. I still remember that I got an F in my 3rd semester of 9th grade Science because I wouldn't do a bug collection. My mother was terrified of bugs also, so I didn't get any complaints from her. I had always had pretty great grades, so somehow we must've made it through that. Now, thinking back, it is a wonderful reminder of God's grace and how we can turn fears into love if we just think differently and choose to look at something in a different way.

I laid the glass case in the car realizing that it was not a sealed or secure container for the bug and if he had any determination at all, he could crawl out the side where it folded down and slid under a fabric tab to keep it closed. Would he remain inside until we made the 25 minute drive home from this last stop? He did.

We got back home and I took him out to a Rose of Sharon bush that had Japanese Beetles on it and released him, blessing him in his new environment and instructing him to be of service to Bluebird Cove. Japanese Beetles are one of the bugs they will eat and we've had plenty of them this year, so we thank God for His provision of an added "assassin" to help control the Japanese Beetle population, which is considered the most destructive garden bug.

As I reflected on the event, I realized that we are many times out on a "brick pillar" surrounded by danger and we don't even know it. This Wheel Bug was surely oblivious to the fact that his odds of surviving in his environment were slim in his current location, and to get to another location across the highway didn't give him a high percentage of possibilities either since they are not good fliers.

You can probably see why they are called Wheel Bugs. The little rounded and raised area on it's back looks like a wheel. They are known as one of the Assassin Bugs and are predatory throughout their lives, with nymphs eating tiny caterpillars and insects and adults sometimes consuming agricultural pests larger than themselves. It is a "monster" of the insect world. With its bizarre appearance and deadly beak, it is a dreaded foe of other insects. It spears its unfortunate prey with its sharp beak and sucks up the victim's body fluids.

Wheel Bugs find a mate in autumn and the female lays a cluster of 40-200 tiny brownish bottle-shaped eggs on a twig and, sometimes after attacking and eating her mate, eventually dies. I'm sure our rescued Wheel Bug had a female already here praying for a mate to come to Bluebird Cove.

Get more detailed information on Wheel Bugs at these websites:
www.hiltonpond.org/ThisWeek030901.html
insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/aimg54.html

How do we react when God scoops us up and puts us in a dark confined place? Do we patiently wait for release or do we run around looking for any way out that we can get? We moved here to Bluebird Cove hoping to find a piece of land somewhere to build a small home where I could find total stillness except for the sounds of His Creation. With views and running water if we dared to dream so big. And now, here I am, "trapped" at Bluebird Cove.

If you've read the beginning of the story of Bluebird Cove in the archives, you know the fulfillment of our dream didn't work out the way we'd planned at River Trails .... and since then, the command so often given in The Bible to "only believe" has been more of a challenge.

What do we do when we're trapped in a dark place? Do we continue to believe God is good? Do we find contentment in knowing that God has already provided everything I need for my current and future happiness? Do we wallow? Do we fight?

The Wheel Bug must've just decided everything would turn out alright because he didn't crawl out. He also didn't bite me while I put him in or while I released him. He must've "known" that there was safety and rescue involved in being in that temporary dark place. Do we believe that when we go through the storms of life? That there is Somebody out there trying to get us to a better place in life, if we will only release ourselves into Their care and be content until our dreams do come true?

The bug could've crawled out and into some area of the car where I would not have found him. It may have seemed he escaped to freedom, but it would actually have been a slow death of starvation and dehydration since there would be no food or water in the car. Yes, I would've tried to find him, seeking after the lost bug, like Jesus seeks after His lost sheep, but sometimes bugs and children of God run away, thinking they know what's best.

Are you trying to escape some dark confining area of your life? Is it keeping you captive in depression and despair? Why not choose to "only believe" and trust that Somebody greater than you with more wisdom about your life has a plan and purpose for you right where you are. Relax, stop fighting, and look to see what God is providing you. The Wheel Bug's willingness to be patient resulted in him being placed at the "table" with a feast of Japanese Beetles.

God has prepared a table for us in the midst of our enemies, so submit, choose happy and good thoughts, and find your place at the Table of Life.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! It must have been an amazing experience to help out the "little" guy! Even if it was a small task, it must have felt great to do this!

Unknown said...

It was grand and it's nice to "meet" somebody else who would think so :-) Thanks for sharing your sweet spirit.

Allison said...

I just read this and I am really glad that you were able to overcome your fear. I used to fear spiders, then researched them and realized many are beneficial and even cute in their behaviors and interactions. I like how you relate this to Gods actions in our own lives. Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing this!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your spiders story also! They are precious little beings. Our house is spider-friendly so I talk to them and move them if I need to do something where they are. I've taken photos of them closeup and they are beautiful things!

cecropia said...

there is also another bug from the bee assassin family known as the kissing bug, that caries chagas disease, which affects more than 15 million people in the world just some neat information. Also just so you know the wheel bug can if disturbed can puncture the skin and give a painful sting worst then a bee sting. not that you should fear but just have respect for what you do not Know.

Unknown said...

I hadn't heard of the kissing bug or the disease so I Googled :-) Here's some added info for the readers:

Chagas disease is named after the Brazilian physician Carlos Chagas, who discovered the disease in 1909. It is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to animals and people by insect vectors that are found only in the Americas (mainly, in rural areas of Latin America where poverty is widespread). Chagas disease (T. cruzi infection) is also referred to as American trypanosomiasis.

In the United States, Chagas disease is considered a Neglected Infection of Poverty (NIP) since it is found mostly in those with limited resources and limited access to medical care.


I knew wheel bugs can bite. I have this belief that if you transmit love as you're admiring something in God's Creation that it will not react defensively. I've rescued many wasps in our house (they tend to nest in our vented fireplace outside and then come in through some crack or hole).

I've also picked up bristled caterpillar species that are supposed to sting to move them to a food they eat or to get more light for a photo. All of these I did for the first time BEFORE learning more about them, but with all such experiences I've had and read of others having the same, it hasn't changed my behavior. I may get stung one day, but the joy of not worrying over it is grand :-)

I took macro photos of wasps eating rotten apples we'd picked off the ground for wildlife with a 0" lens and then looking them up found out they were yellow-jackets. They sure are beautiful for all the bad press they get.

Thank you so much, cecropia, for letting us know about kissing bugs and the disease. I love learning new things!

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