Dust vs. Spiders

Very few situations in my life induce the same level of sheer panic as that of realizing that there’s a spider in the house.

It doesn’t even need to be a real spider. It could just an irregularity in the carpet or an oddly-shaped piece of lint.

That’s all it takes to send my adrenaline into the stratosphere.

Despite the rather common occurrence of spiders getting into the house, I find that I’m never prepared to deal with them. I don’t want to get close enough to them to catch them or squish them—what if they jump on me and latch themselves across my entire face?

Nevertheless, they must be dealt with.

Yes, I understand the importance of spiders to the overall ecosystem. I just don't see their importance to the particular ecosystem of my kitchen.

That's why when spiders come into my house, I use every panic-conceived method available to eliminate them. I’ve sprayed them with Windex and thrown heavy objects at them and trapped them under boxes. I even smothered one with a Snuggie.

The only thing I won’t do is leave them alone.


Because this is my home. It’s where I come to rest and be refreshed, and I’d never sleep at night without worrying about one of them crawling into my mouth and then out of my nostrils (thank you, Arachnaphobia).

Contrast the hand-flappy panic I feel over spiders with how I feel about household dust.

Despite it being much more pervasive than spiders—as well as infinitely more disgusting (being a toxic blend of animal dander, pollution, soil, pollen, insect excreta, and dead human skin)—and despite the fact that, unlike spiders, I’m actually likely to breathe it in, I’m somehow able to look on its existence in my home with relative equanimity.

If I even register seeing the dust at all, I will just think, I’ll take care of that on Saturday when I clean the rest of the house. Whereas when I see a spider, I think, I MUST BURN IT WITH FIRE.

Believe it or not, there’s actually a spiritual parallel here.

When the Holy Spirit points out sin in our lives, how do we respond? Do we treat it like dust, or do we treat it like a spider?  Do we allow sin to build up with a shrug, putting it out of our minds by thinking, I’ll just deal with that laterOr do we eliminate it as quickly and efficiently as possible, knowing that we won’t be able to rest until it’s been taken care of?


One Caveat: This isn’t a perfect illustration. I know for a fact that a few of you actually love household spiders, foster them in your home, and can list their merits. 

That's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure we can still be friends.

Unfortunately, some people deal with sin this way as well.

And that is a bad thing. 


  1. Want to see my brown recluse bite scar? ;)

  2. Spiders outside- wonderful, talented creatures.
    Spiders inside- horrifying wall terrorists. Eliminate.

    1. "horrifying wall terrorists" YES!!!!


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