Let’s face it. Some things are difficult if not impossible to love. Take snakes for instance. Have you ever had anyone, even a genuine snake handler, tell you that they love the slithery things. In fact, most people will shiver just at the mention of one. Many ordinarily peaceful travelers in the country will stop their car and hunt a stick to terminate any serpentine creature that might be innocently trying to get to the other side of the road.
Then there are eels. Have you ever caught one of the slimy things while fishing? They twist and turn and tangle your line to no end. Every time you try to get a grip on the slick wiggler, he just slips between your fingers and tangles the line some more. We were fishing one night up on the Oconee River in Laurens County when one of the group caught what he thought was a giant catfish. He wrestled with the thing for several minutes in the strong river current before finally landing it. It turned out to be one of the biggest river eels I have ever seen. It was remarkable at the adjectives that the anxious fisherman used to describe that eel. Truly, none of those descriptive terms were spoken in the spirit of love and admiration.
What about cockroaches? Have you ever opened a cabinet door and see one of them scamper across your freshly washed dishes? What did you say? You probably had some gross remarks for these scroungy little creatures that infest the place at times when you fail to put out the roach tablets.
My sister has a phobia of anything that creeps, crawls or hops. One night we were sitting in their living room watching some home movies. I knew about her fear of such creatures. Just to tease her a little, I had in my pocket a small rubber spider. While sitting on the floor in front of her in the dim light, I eased the rubber spider from my pocket and carefully laid it on her knee. Her reaction was instantaneous. I tried to duck the blow but it was too late. She caught me beside the head with a right hook and I saw all the stars in the universe without having to get into the astronaut program.
When I was a high school sophomore, we had a biology teacher who collected every kind of creepy crawly creature he could find and imprisoned them in appropriate containers about the classroom. His purpose for such behavior was to teach his students about the animal kingdom. He never once expected that there would be a lesson in store that he hadn’t planned.
One the day in question, as was the custom we lined up outside to come go to our biology class; it was the first class after lunch, and as was our tradition in those days, the girls always went first. As the line filed into the classroom, we heard a loud screech followed by some bumping and scraping noises. Just as the last of the boys were reaching the classroom door, a young lass whipped past us with a wild look on her face. Her hair was tousled badly, and her dress streamed behind her as she headed down the hall in a run. Quickly, there were others who followed. We were aghast. We didn’t know what in the world was taking place. In a minute it became apparent what the chaos was about. Some above-the-average student had slipped into the classroom during the lunch hour and freed the caged animals. We spent the entire hour running down the fauna that had fled to every crack and crevice including the female Homo sapiens.
What about wasps? Have you ever know anyone who developed a real loving relationship with a family of these stingers? I remember the day down on the farm that my brother went to the corn crib to get some sacks to gather vegetables in. He had been inside for a few minutes when we who were standing on the outside heard a terrible commotion. Just as we turned to see what the matter was, we saw big brother looking wild-eyed and bolting for the barn entrance. He cleared the big barn door with a broad jump that would have won him a place on the Olympic team and hit the ground running. He had back into a nest of guinea wasps.
Well, in spite of the admonitions to love all creation, there are those things that make it very difficult, but we can keep on trying. Next time the gnats and mosquitoes come out, say to them “I love you” seven times before you swat. It may work.