A friend of mine lived for a while with a bunch of guys in a house near campus. The old place was big and spacious and they often crammed more than a dozen or so guys into the five bedrooms, plus the 2 couches in the living room. It could get drafty in the winter, but the biggest challenge they complained to the landlord about was that the floor moved at night.
One of my buddies stayed there once on the “guest” couch and he told me he got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. The first thing he heard in the darkness was the snap, crackle, and pop under his bare feet. He flipped a light on and did not view left over Captain Crunch cereal, but…you guessed it…roaches!
Many people recoil and even gag at the sight of roaches. But I recently talked with Joe, an exterminator who came by our house to help us with an “ant” problem. He said most insects and pests (including roaches) are actually wonderful creatures. He added that roaches in particular are victims of a misinformation campaign. I know, I chuckled too, when I heard that statement. But to be honest, it did not make me feel sorry for the little guys that often find the bottom of someone’s shoe. But the exterminator persisted in arguing that roaches aren’t that bad.
My learning ensued as Joe continued by saying, “The roaches that infest most buildings and homes are not on the radar of the Society for the Prevention to the Cruelty to Animals, …er, critters. But they are just one of the thousands of species that live on earth. Most are tiny, but some grow to be six inches long. Most roaches in the United States live in the outlying areas of civilization and feed on dead plants and trees as part of God’s earthly recycling program.” I had not thought God was THAT forward thinking, but I was mistaken, according to Joe.
When was the last time you saw a roach? It’s okay if you mentioned when you saw, “Men in Black” with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Even there the roaches were disgusting, right? Yet Joe’s description (and esteem) of the little creature got me wondering if I was missing something. Even though my first reaction may not be to praise God for His abundant wisdom in creating roaches, I do need to increase my appreciation for His design
Read Psalm 104:19-35.
Are you starting to feel a tiny bit of compassion for roaches yet? Probably not, but pause for a moment and consider the world’s complex system of plants, animals, and even insects and pests. How do they point to a good and wise Creator behind them all?
George Washington Carver was fond of saying God left us two Books to study to get to know Him better: Scripture and nature. In their vast diversity and place in the natural order, creatures like roaches can aid us in gaining an appreciation for God’s beauty, wisdom, and design. The Psalmist did say in 104:24, “He made all things.” Even repulsive, icky critters like roaches.
So the next time you see a roach, spider, lizard, or whatever causes your skin to crawl (and I hope you don’t see anything for a long time), try not to shudder. Keep in mind that even the most disgusting creatures on earth (in your eyes, at least), point to an amazing and awesome Creator who made everything for a purpose. Think theologically. Every creature reflects the design of its Creator. I dare you to praise God for roaches in an upcoming Chi Alpha meeting.
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz