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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pulling Through

The papery buzzing sound was distinct - and familiar. To the attentive ear, it sounded of fierce determination, yet desperation. I knew it would go on for some time, truly a matter or life and death.

Several years ago, in yet another attempt to keep birds from crashing headlong into our large living room window, we tried something different. We tightly stretched a large piece of plastic netting over the outside of the window frame. It’s the kind of netting normally draped over fruit trees to keep birds from eating the fruit. We grew accustomed to its strange look, sort of like a large mesh screen. It’s worked too - not one bird has smashed into the window since, although several a year have bounced off the mesh.
This time of the year, attracted by the wonderful reflections in the glass, huge, colorful dragonflies occasionally work their way between the netting and the window. They get in, but they never can figure out how to get back out. Frantically, they try again and again, gradually beating their cellophane -like wings to tatters and eventually dying of exhaustion. The sound I heard was one such trapped dragonfly.
Through trial and error, I have learned to assist them out. Holding the end of a broom handle up to the mesh by the insect’s legs, I urged it to grab hold. If I pulled too hard on the broom it would either let go and remain trapped or I would injure its wings as I pulled it against the net. With steady, solid support though, it was able to fold its wings back just enough to pull itself through. Later, I found it at the pond, basking in its reflection where dragonflies belong.
Finding ourselves in a tight situation, whether of our own doing or not, we too may need assistance. A strong push or pull is not necessarily helpful. Simply a shoulder to lean on can give us all the support we need to “pull ourselves through”. Isn’t this just what we all need sometimes?

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From whence does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalms 121.1-2

All Photos courtesy PDPhoto.org

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