The Beauty of the Extraordinary


Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”

John 9:1-3 NIV


On a rainy, autumn day, a large yellow spider spins her brilliant silken web beneath a shady tree. Her masterpiece will only take an hour to build but even still . . . a masterpiece it will be. Even more amazing still is that even with the many eyes God gave her; she can’t see much of anything. In fact, God made the many-eyed orb spider to rely on her sense of touch most of all.

The life of a writing spider is truly extraordinary. Her life begins kind of sadly actually as she is ripped from her mother’s empty web. She awakens to find she can’t see much at all. And before she even has a chance to realize her mother is gone, a harsh breeze sweeps her into a grey-blue sky.

For a moment she is at the mercy of the wind.

But then something awe-inspiring happens. She realizes she has a super power. She can spin silk. She realizes she is REALLY good at spinning silk. As is life, before she knows it, more harsh winds come. Her web billows in the chill of the wind. But she is at its mercy no longer.

Instead, it is at the mercy of her.

Storm after storm, her web catches rain drops that glisten in the morning dew. It brings her food. It gives her more than adequate shelter. And more than adequate, it is extravagant. This web she’s made is beautiful. The people inside the window stop to marvel at it . . . at her. And even long after she’s gone . . . her masterful strands of beauty remain. Until once again, a freshly hatched many-eyed spider begins anew.

At first glance it doesn’t make much sense to us why this spider was born with so many eyes and not much use of them. But when the sunlight hits her web it’s obvious. The many-eyed spider was created by the all-seeing, all knowing eye of God. Her beauty used for His glory. Her circumstances and her gift shedding light on His majesty.

Like the spider, maybe you have two beautiful God-given eyes . . . but they don’t work well. Or maybe not at all. Maybe, like mine, your brain has its own set of glitches. Maybe you were born without arms or legs. Maybe your heart beats to its own drummer. Or maybe it’s something else entirely. Whatever it is, maybe you feel inadequate. Maybe you long to be normal even just for one day.

I’ve been there. Being different is hard. But I’ve also learned that there is a very holy calling in being the exception to the rule. Rest assured. If you needed your arms or legs to fulfill your purpose you would have them. If your brain was wired like everyone else’s . . . your gift might suffer. In a nutshell, you are a whole lot like the many-eyed orb spider.

You have purpose.

And beauty. So. Much. Beauty.

You are anointed with the super natural, which is better than a super power, with silken webs and every sense, piece and part you need to do what God called you to do.

And it’s special. Really special.

You were made to be seen. Destined to be spotted. Your beauty, your purpose, your web strong in the storm, fearless in the wind . . . draws a crowd from the window. They marvel at you and in marveling at you – they dare not know it yet . . .

But they are marveling at your God.


*Excerpt from Radically Red: A Dare to Live the Words of Christ, 2014

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