Lessons from an Earthworm…


Have you noticed the earthworms in the mornings?  In my neighborhood, they crawl up during the night (or after a hard rain), and make their way onto the street pavement.  I guess the asphalt looks like dirt to them.  They try to burrow into the asphalt, but they can’t.

Walking through the neighborhood one morning, I saw hundreds of earthworms curled up, dead.  They had got on the asphalt, tried to burrow, and then were gradually cooked by the sun as it warmed the asphalt.  Scrambled earthworms, anyone?

Then I saw one earthworm still alive.  The day was already warming up and he was wriggling for all he was worth (at least I think it was a he; who can tell?).  For some unknown reason, I felt compassion for the earthworm. Hard to say why.  After all, it is just one earthworm among hundreds.

I decided to rescue this earthworm.  I bent down to pick him up from the asphalt.  This is when the problems began.

My fingers are chubby and stubby.  When I pinched my fingers together to pick up the earthworm, there was a perfect earthworm-sized gap.  I couldn’t grab hold of him.

I don’t feel compassion often for earthworms, so I was going to rescue him if it killed him.  I crooked my finger and thumb to make sure there was no gap and tried to pick up the earthworm again.  I still couldn’t quite grip him, and dropped him.  I think his tiny mouth was screaming at me, “What are you doing?”

I would not give up.  I came in again, got a good grip… and pinched the earthworm in two.  Oops.  I remembered something from middle school biology: if you pinch an earthworm in two, both pieces will live.  So I tried again.  I’ll spare you the details except to say half a worm is better than nothing.

As I walked away from half a worm smooshed on the asphalt and half a worm in the grass, I ask our Heavenly Father what I was supposed to learn from that.

It came to me: Our Heavenly Father loves us so much he does not come to overwhelm us with his presence and power.  If he did, we wouldn’t just be pinched in two; we explode in the presence of his glory.

Our gentle Heavenly Father knew we needed an intercessor, someone who would come and be just the right size to rescue us, make us clean, and bring us home.  That’s why he sent his son Jesus.  Jesus – God with us – comes to each of us and says, “You matter.  You are important to our Father in Heaven.  Let me rescue you, forgive you, and bring you home.”

Stop wriggling in fear.  Jesus will come to you with just the right amount of power to rescue you.

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